Rajasthan said that it found some spices of MDH and Everest “unsafe” for consumption after tests amid global scrutiny of the brands for alleged contamination in its products, news agency Reuters reported citing a letter from the state written to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). This comes after Hong Kong in April suspended sales of three spice blends produced by MDH and one by Everest as authorities in the country said that the products contained high levels of a cancer-causing pesticide ethylene oxide. This triggered scrutiny by regulators in India and other countries as well. 

A man buys packets of MDH spices at a store in Amritsar. (AFP)

Singapore also ordered a recall of the Everest mix while New Zealand, the United States and Australia said they were looking into the issues. Britain has applied extra controls on all spices entering from India, it was reported. 

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As per a private letter from a senior health official in Rajasthan Shubhra Singh, the state checked samples of many spices and found a batch of Everest spice mix and two of MDH’s “unsafe”, Reuters reported.

Gujarat and Haryana, where the MDH and Everest batches were made, “should be asked to take action in the matter without delay,” Shubhra Singh wrote in her letter, as per the report. Earlier Rajasthan state authorities said that it had seized 12,000 kilograms of various spices for alleged contamination last week.

MDH and Everest- whose products are popular in India and sold in Europe, Asia and North America- have said that their spice mixes are safe for consumption.

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