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After Singapore and Hong Kong, Nepal bans sale of Indian spice-mix products MDH and Everest over quality issues

This comes after Singapore and Hong Kong imposed a similar ban on Indian spices earlier.
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Updated May 18, 2024, 4:07 PM IST
Singapore and Hong Kong recently imposed a ban on spices exported by Indian brands MDH and Everest over ethylene oxide (ETO) contamination.
Nepal on Saturday banned the sale and import of a few spice-mix products made by Indian brands over alleged quality issues. This comes after Singapore and Hong Kong imposed a similar ban on Indian spices earlier.

The country imposed a ban on four spice mixes from MDH and Everest due to suspected ethylene oxide (EtO) contamination, the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control said. The banned products are MDH's Madras Curry Powder, Sambhar Mixed Masala Powder, Mixed Masala Curry Powder, and Everest's Fish Curry Masala.

The Department of Food Technology and Quality Control banned the import and sale of these four products because they exceed the allowed limit of ethylene oxide. According to Article 19 of the Food Regulation 2027 B.S., these products are harmful for consumption. The department issued a notice on Friday, citing serious concerns from media reports about the sale of these sub-standard products.

The food quality control authority has also asked importers and traders to recall these products from the market. Last month, Singapore and Hong Kong stopped selling some MDH and Everest spices due to suspected high levels of ethylene oxide, which is linked to certain cancers.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has started checking the quality of powdered spices from various brands. On Friday, the Federation of Indian Spice Stakeholders (FISS) warned that India’s spice exports could drop by nearly 40% in FY25 if the ethylene oxide contamination issue isn't resolved soon.

India, one of the world's top spice producers, exported over 200 spices and value-added products worth $4 billion to about 180 countries in 2021-22, according to the Spices Board of India.