FSSAI Cancels Manufacturing Licenses of 111 Spice Producers Over Adulteration Concerns

More cancellations are possible as Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) continues to test more samples. Among those whose licenses have so far been cancelled include popular brands such as Everest, MDH, Catch, and Badshah, among others.

Over the last one month, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has cancelled the manufacturing licenses of 111 spice producers across the country. They have been instructed to stop the production immediately, ToI reported.

The food regulator has been collecting samples from across the country since April, when Singapore and Hong Kong banned the sale of popular Indian spice brands MDH Pvt. Ltd, and Everest Food Products Pvt. The popular brands were banned after the alleged detection of the carcinogenic pesticide ethylene oxide in several products.

Accordingly, 4,000 samples have been collected so far and tests have been conducted on nearly 2,200 samples so far. More cancellations are possible as FSSAI continues to test more samples.

Among those whose licenses have so far been cancelled include popular brands such as Everest, MDH, Catch, and Badshah, among others.

Most of the producers whose licenses have been cancelled are from Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Many companies from even Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are also under scanner. Companies whose licenses have been cancelled are mostly small-scale firms.

Turmeric, chilli powder, black pepper, cinnamon, coriander powder and many common pieces are prone to adulteration. Spice producers use adulterants such as starch, sawdust, artificial colours, and chemical dyes to increase volume and lower production costs, compromising the quality and safety of these spices.

With the complaints of adulteration, FSSAI has recently said there will be an increase in the permissible pesticide levels by 10 times to contain further adulteration.