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Ban on MDH-Everest Spices in Maldives: Alleged Pesticide Contamination, Investigations Ongoing

Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as the Maldives, have imposed restrictions on the sale of Everest and MDH spices. The Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA) has announced that ethylene oxide has been found in spices produced in India.

News agencies have reported this information. According to reports, the Maldives government is still evaluating the risks associated with these spices. The MFDA has stated that these brands’ spices are imported in large quantities to the Maldives and are used extensively.

Hong Kong and Singapore have banned the sale of Madras curry powder, Everest fish curry masala, MDH sambar masala mix, and MDH pav bhaji masala starting this month. It was alleged that these spices from MDH and Everest brands contain pesticides.

Following these reports, the Indian government has also initiated an investigation into the products. Additionally, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also examining the company’s spices. “An FDA spokesperson told Reuters that the FDA is aware of these allegations and is gathering information to better understand the situation.”

MDH has denied the allegations, stating that their products are safe. However, on Saturday, MDH rejected the allegations of pesticides in their products, stating that the claims are false and baseless, and no evidence has been provided for them. MDH stated, “The allegations of ethylene oxide in our products are untrue. Besides, the company has not received any messages from regulatory authorities in Singapore or Hong Kong.”

Ethylene oxide is a colorless gas that becomes highly reactive at temperatures above 10.7 degrees Celsius. It functions as a pesticide, working to sterilize medical instruments and reduce microbial contamination in spices.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies ethylene oxide as a Group 1 carcinogen, meaning it is known to cause cancer in humans and presents convincing evidence of its carcinogenicity. Ethylene oxide exposure can lead to cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia, as well as cancers of the stomach and breast.

India exported approximately ₹32,000 crore worth of spices in the financial year 2022-23. Spices like chili, cumin, turmeric, curry powder, and cardamom are among the primary exports.

Rahul Sharma

My name is Rahul Sharma. As a passionate writer and explorer, I'm always seeking inspiration in lifestyle, fashion, beauty, food & drink, and travel. With years of experience in the industry, I bring a unique perspective to my writing, blending my love for culture, style, and adventure.