News Brief

Rajasthan Seeks FSSAI Action After Insecticides, Pesticides Found In Popular Spice Brands Samples — All About It

Kuldeep Negi

Jun 14, 2024, 11:57 AM | Updated 11:57 AM IST

Chilli Powder (Representative Image)
Chilli Powder (Representative Image)

Following the discovery of high levels of pesticides and insecticides in popular spice brands, the Rajasthan government has requested the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to provide guidance and has reached out to the governments of Gujarat and Haryana for action against the spice manufacturers.

Shubhra Singh, Additional Chief Secretary of the Rajasthan's Medical, Health and Family Welfare department, said that a special campaign was launched on 8 May to collect samples from all districts in the state.

A total of 93 samples from various companies, including well-known brands, were tested.

The State Central Public Health Laboratory's report revealed dangerously high levels of pesticides and insecticides in some samples.

As per Iqbal Khan, Commissioner, Food Safety and Drug Control, high quantities of pesticides and insecticides were found in the samples of MDH, Everest, Gajanand, Shyam and Ciba Taaza during the tests which are “very harmful” for health.

According to the tests, MDH’s Garam Masala contained Acetamiprid, Thiamethoxam, and Imidacloprid, while Everest Spices’ Jeera Masala showed traces of Azoxystrobin and Thiamethoxam.

Shyam spices company’s Garam Masala too had Acetamiprid; Ciba Taaza’s Raita Masala had Acetamiprid and Thiamethoxam; and Gajanand spices’ Achaar Masala had Ethion.

In response to these findings, Gajendra Singh Khimsar, Rajasthan's Medical and Health Minister, ordered a special campaign resulting in the seizure of over 12,000 kilograms of unsafe spices on 8 June.

Given that the manufacturing units of MDH spices are in Haryana and Everest and Gajanand spices in Gujarat, the Rajasthan government has written to the respective state Food Safety Commissioners and FSSAI for further action.

ACS Singh said that this action was prompted by public health concerns, especially after some Indian spices were banned in Singapore for containing carcinogens, Indian Express reported.

The representation from the masala lobby is that they don’t add any insecticides or pesticides during the processing and “that it is coming from the soil itself, in the produce they are taking. It is not a top up but is intrinsic,” ACS Singh said.

Singh emphasised the need for addressing these broader issues without shutting down factories.

An official stated that Rajasthan, unable to directly act against out-of-state manufacturing units, has asked FSSAI to ensure appropriate measures are taken by the respective states.

Also Read: What Caused The Deadly Kuwait Fire That Killed 45 Indians? Preliminary Investigation Reveals Major Safety Violations

Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.

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