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MDH rejects allegations of cancer-causing pesticide in its spices: ‘Baseless’

Apr 28, 2024 12:30 AM IST

MDH-Everest row: Hong Kong claimed that it detected the presence of cancer-causing pesticide in several spice mixes of the two brands.

MDH, a popular Indian spice brand, on Saturday rejected the allegations of its products containing a cancer-causing pesticide, saying that the claims are “baseless, untrue and lack any substantiating evidence”.

The recalled MDH sambar masala was distributed in northern California retail stores, House Of Spices (India) said in a statement.(mdhspices.com)

The brand's statement comes days after Hong Kong and Singapore banned the sale of the two Indian spice brands in their countries - MDH and Everest, claiming that they detected the presence of carcinogenic pesticide ethylene oxide in several spice mixes.

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“The allegations of the presence of ethylene oxide in our products is untrue and lack any substantiating evidence...Additionally, MDH has not received any communication from regulatory authorities of Singapore or Hong Kong. This reinforces the fact that the allegations against MDH are baseless, unsubstantiated, and not backed by any concrete evidence,” the MDH said in a statement, as reported by PTI.

It further assured its 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. We abides by health and safety standards, both domestically and internationally,” it said.

MDH added, “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.”

Why did Hong Kong, Singapore ban MDH, Everest spices?

The Centre For Food Safety of the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region said that they detected the presence of carcinogenic pesticide ethylene oxide in several spice mixes of the two spice brands - MDH and Everest.

In a notice issued by the Hong Kong authorities, it was mentioned that the country's food regulator collected samples of three of MDH's pre-packaged spice products - 'Madras Curry Powder', 'Sambhar Masala Powder' and ‘Curry Powder’; and Everest Group's 'Fish Curry Masala' for testing under its routine food surveillance programme when it detected the presence of the pesticide.

Following this, the CFS instructed the concerned vendors in Hong Kong's Tsim Sha Tsui city to stop selling those products and remove them from their shelves.

Shortly after Hong Kong's move, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) also ordered a recall of the products and imposed a ban.

“Those who have consumed the implicated products and have concerns about their health should seek medical advice. Consumers may contact their point of purchase for enquiries,” the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said.

Meanwhile, the Centre on April 23 sought details from the food safety regulators of Hong Kong and Singapore. According to government officials, the root cause of the ban and corrective actions will be determined along with those of the concerned exporters, reported Reuters.

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