EU team to submit guar gum draft report in 10 days

EU team to submit guar gum draft report in 10 days

By Reuters

Mumbai: A three-member European Commission inspection team has completed visiting guar gum manufacturing units in India and is expected to submit its draft report in next 10 days, a senior government official said on 11 October.

The team from the Food and Veterinary Office of the European Commission would be visiting India to assess efforts to eliminate dioxin contamination from the food gum used as an additive in everything from yogurt and soft cheese to bread.

During its week-long stay, the team visited five gum manufacturing units in Jodhpur and Delhi and the Hyderabad-based Vimta Specialities Lab, she added.

“They completed their visit. They have some findings, but we are not aware of findings," said Debjani Roy, executive director of the state-run Shellac and Forest Products Export Promotion Council, which promotes guar gum exports.

She said before preparing the final report the team will submit a draft report in 10 days to Indian side for comments. The team is leaving on 11 October, she said. In July, Swiss company Unipektin AG, which supplies guar gum products to EU markets, recalled batches of food additives containing guar gum exported by India Glycols. India accounts for 80% of world trade in guar gum, extracted from the guar bean.

A small handful of the EU’s 27 member states were unaffected by the contamination, while many others -- at least 16 countries -- reported recalls of either guar gum or food products.

After high dioxin levels were detected, national authorities across the EU were warned by Brussels to impound guar gum exports from India Glycols and test consignments for pentachlorophenol and dioxin.