MDH, Everest spices row: Does Ethylene Oxide cause cancer? All you need to know - Hindustan Times
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MDH, Everest spices row: Does Ethylene Oxide cause cancer? All you need to know

Apr 24, 2024 11:37 AM IST

FSSAI has started sampling the products while Spice Board of India is also investigating the ban imposed by Hong Kong and Singapore, reports claimed.

Following the recent ban on certain Indian spice brands like MDH and Everest Group by the Hong Kong and Singapore governments, FSSAI, the food safety regulatory authority in India, has been alarmed and is gearing up to take strict action, it was reported. These spices allegedly contain ethylene oxide, a harmful pesticide deemed unfit for human consumption. FSSAI has started sampling the products and powdered spices while Spice Board of India is also investigating the ban imposed by Hong Kong and Singapore, reports claimed. 

MDH, Everest spices have been banned in Hong Kong and Singapore, authorities have said. (Reuters)
MDH, Everest spices have been banned in Hong Kong and Singapore, authorities have said. (Reuters)

"We are looking into the matter. We are at it," Spices Board of India Director A B Rema Shree said.

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What is ethylene oxide and how harmful is it?

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The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IARC) have both designated ethylene oxide as a known human carcinogen. Types of cancer that are most frequently linked to exposure to ethylene oxide are lymphoma, leukemia, and breast cancer. These cancers frequently result from workplace risks or procedures used to sterilize products.

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Can ethylene oxide cause cancer?

There have been grave concerns lately regarding the contamination of food and the potential health risks associated with them. Different doctors have expressed their concerns about the issue after the news came to light.

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Suparna Mukherjee, Charge of Clinical Nutrition, Narayana Health City, Bangalore, expressed her concern as she emphasized the toxicity of ethylene oxide and how the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified it as a top-level carcinogen, as per a report in Financial Express. Mukherjee emphasized that extended exposure to ethylene oxide from contaminated food products increases the risk of cancer, especially for susceptible groups.

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