‘India has stringent standards’: FSSAI slams pesticide claims

BNE News Desk

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New Delhi: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on Sunday asserted that India has one of the most stringent standards of maximum residue limits (MRLs) in the world fixed at different levels for different commodities based on “risk assessments.”

The statement was released after media reports recently claimed that FSSAI allowed 10 times more pesticide residue in herbs and spices by increasing the maximum level of a pesticide residue allowed by 10 times. In an order issued on 8 April, FSSAI raised the MRL for a pesticide in herbs and spices to 0.1mg/kg from 0.01mg/kg. The regulator cited “various representations" as the reason for this upward revision.

“The MRLs are dynamic and regularly revised based on scientific data”, the FSSAI said, slamming the media reports. “This practice follows global standards and ensures that MRL are revised on a scientifically valid basis, reflecting the latest findings and international norms”, it added.

In a related development, food safety authorities in Hong Kong and Singapore last month banned four products of two popular Indian spice brands, Mahashian Di Hatti (MDH) and Everest, claiming they contained ethylene oxide, a carcinogen.

Pesticides are regulated by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare through the Central Insecticide Board and Registration Committee (CIB & RC) constituted under the Insecticide Act, 1968.

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BNE News Desk