FSSAI allows increase of permissible pesticide levels in spices by 10 times

Inevitably, the move has raised concerns among activists and experts, who have questioned the scientific basis of the decision.

“This relaxation means Indian spices will face more rejections when exported to some large markets,” Dileep Kumar, CEO of Pesticide Action Network, told ET. He also said this move may facilitate the import of spices with higher amounts of pesticides.

“If the FSSAI is relaxing the limit, then ultimately it allows for more pesticides to be ingested into the human body with severe health implications,” Amit Khurana, programme director of sustainable food systems at the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi, told Down to Earth.

“If you are making such a huge upward revision, then you have to substantiate it by releasing the data based on which the decision was made,” Khurana also said.

According to media reports, the FSSAI has increased pesticide limits to align with global standards and “ensure food safety without compromising trade”, though how that will work has not been clearly explained. 

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