Food & DrinkLifestyle

US Launches Probe into MDH and Everest Spices After Singapore-Hong Kong Bans

Following the bans imposed on certain spices by Singapore and Hong Kong, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States is now gathering information on these matters as well. An FDA spokesperson informed Reuters that they are closely monitoring the situation regarding MDH and Everest and are collecting more information on their products.

In addition to Singapore and Hong Kong’s bans, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is also conducting inspections of the spices from both companies. MDH and Everest spices are highly popular in India and are also sold in Europe, Asia, and North America.

Singapore and Hong Kong have banned four products each from Everest and MDH due to exceeding the permissible limit of ethylene oxide, a pesticide, in some of their products. The higher levels of this pesticide in these products pose a risk of cancer.

The Food Safety Department of Hong Kong revealed that three spice mixes from the MDH group – Madras Curry Powder, Sambhar Masala Powder, and Karhi Masala Powder had higher levels of ethylene oxide. Everest’s Fish Curry Masala also contained this carcinogenic substance.

Ethylene oxide is a pesticide that becomes highly reactive at temperatures above 10.7 degrees Celsius and is described as a colorless gas. It functions as a pesticide, fumigant, and sterilant. Its use is intended to sterilize medical equipment 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 classified as carcinogenic to humans and there is sufficient evidence to support this claim. Ethylene oxide exposure can lead to lymphoma and leukemia, among other cancers. It can also cause stomach and breast cancer.

India exported approximately ₹32,000 crore worth of spices in the financial year 2022-23. The main exported spices include chili, cumin, turmeric, curry powder, and cardamom.

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.