Home » UK imposes strict controls on Indian spice imports amid contamination concerns

UK imposes strict controls on Indian spice imports amid contamination concerns

First Published May 16, 2024, 2:41 PM IST

Amid mounting concerns among global food regulators, the United Kingdom has imposed additional control measures on all spice imports from India. This development comes in the wake of contamination allegations against two brands, prompting heightened scrutiny of Indian spice exports.

Last month, Hong Kong stopped sales of three spice blends manufactured by MDH and one by Everest, citing elevated levels of the cancer-causing pesticide ethylene oxide.

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Following suit, Singapore initiated a recall of the Everest mix, while New Zealand, the United States, India, and Australia announced investigations into the matter concerning both brands.

MDH and Everest, renowned Indian brands, assert the safety of their products for consumption.

In a move affecting all Indian spices, the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) announced the imposition of additional control measures for pesticide residues, particularly ethylene oxide, citing concerns.

While the agency refrained from specifying the exact measures, James Cooper, Deputy Director of Food Policy at the FSA, stressed the strict prohibition of ethylene oxide use and assured swift action against unsafe food.

India’s Spices Board, responsible for export regulation, has yet to comment on the issue.

As the world’s largest exporter, consumer, and producer of spices, India holds a prominent position in the global spice market.

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In 2022, Britain imported spices worth $128 million, with India contributing nearly $23 million, according to data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity.

MDH and Everest distribute their products across various regions, including the US, Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Australia.

Last Updated May 16, 2024, 3:21 PM IST

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