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MDH denies use of carcinogenic ingredients after Hong Kong, Singapore ban Indian spices

The clarification from MDH came after the USFDA said they were gathering information on the four products—three from MDH and one from Everest.

Screenshot 2024 04 29 091650NEW DELHI: Days after Hong Kong and Singapore banned three repackaged products of Indian spice brand MDH after detecting carcinogenic ingredients, the famous spice brand dismissed the allegations, saying they do not use ethylene oxide and adhere to stringent health and safety standards both in India and internationally.

The clarification from MDH, which claims to be the king of Indian species, came after the USFDA said they were gathering information on the four products—three of MDH and one of Everest—after food regulators in Hong Kong banned their sales for containing ethylene oxide.

This cancer-causing agent raises the risk of breast cancer and lymphoma.

After Hong Kong flagged the presence of pesticides in these Indian spices and banned them, Singapore followed suit.

India’s food regulator, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), has started a probe into the matter.

Moreover, food safety authorities in the European Union also found ethylene oxide in 527 Indian products, which included herbs and spices. The European Food Safety Authority (RASFF) tested various Indian food items between September 2020 and April 2024.

MDH said they have not received any communications from Hong Kong’s Centre for Food Safety (CFS) or the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).

“Food safety authorities have not approached us in either Hong Kong or Singapore about these findings. We do not use ethylene oxide at any stage of our spice production. Our products adhere to stringent health and safety standards in India and internationally.”

The company also said that the Spice Board of India or the Indian food regulator, FSSAI, have not received any communication or test reports from these foreign authorities.

“This reinforces that the allegations against MDH are baseless, unsubstantiated, and not backed by any concrete evidence,” the statement said.

“MDH reassures its buyers and customers about the safety and quality of all its products. We reassure our buyers and consumers that we do not use Ethylene Oxide (ETO) at any stage of storing, processing, or packing our spices,” it added.

It further said they abide by health and safety standards, both domestically and internationally.

“MDH tagline, ‘Asli Masale Sach Sach, MDH MDH’ and ‘Real Spices of India’ reflect our genuine commitment to providing authentic, high-quality spices to customers,” it added.

Everest had earlier said that their products are not banned in either country and assured customers that their products are safe and of high quality.

After three MDH products—curry powder (spice blend for Madras curry), mixed masala powder, sambhar masala, and Everest’s Fish Curry Masala—were found to have carcinogenic ingredients, FSSAI said these concerned products were checked against the parameters prescribed under the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulation, 2011 and the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulation, 2011 including additives, pesticide residues and other contaminants, etc.

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