India inspects spice makers MDH, Everest over alleged contamination

By Thomson Reuters Apr 24, 2024 | 9:42 AM

BENGALURU (Reuters) – India is inspecting facilities of spice makers MDH and Everest for compliance with quality standards after sales of some of their products were halted in Hong Kong and Singapore for allegedly containing high levels of a cancer-causing pesticide.

India’s spices export regulator said it had sought data on MDH and Everest exports from relevant authorities in both countries and was working with the companies to find the “root cause” of the issue and propose corrective measures if needed.

MDH and Everest did not immediately respond to queries about the Spices Board’s statement.

Hong Kong this month suspended sales of three MDH spice blends and an Everest spice mix for fish curries. Singapore has also ordered a recall of the Everest spice mix and advised against its consumption.

The companies’ products are hugely popular in India and are exported to countries in Europe, Asia and North America.

The Spices Board added it was starting mandatory testing for ethylene oxide – the pesticide in question – in spice consignments to Singapore and Hong Kong, while shipments to other countries would also be strictly monitored for the contaminant.