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Business News/ Companies / News/  'We do not use ethylene oxide': MDH refutes cancer-causing pesticide allegations by Hong Kong, Singapore
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'We do not use ethylene oxide': MDH refutes cancer-causing pesticide allegations by Hong Kong, Singapore

The CFS issued a warning against the sale and purchase of MDH's Madras Curry Powder and Sambhar Masala, as well as Everest's Fish Curry Masala

MDH Spices founder (late) Dharampal Gulati (Photo: HT)Premium
MDH Spices founder (late) Dharampal Gulati (Photo: HT)

MDH, an Indian spice king, has strongly denied allegations of pesticide contamination following reports from food safety regulators in Hong Kong and Singapore. The controversy erupted when the Center for Food Safety (CFS) in Hong Kong detected ethylene oxide—a prohibited pesticide—in various pre-packaged spice products from MDH and another Indian brand, Everest.

Also Read | India seeks 'root cause of rejection' from Singapore, Hong Kong over ban on Everest, MDH masala

The CFS issued a warning against the sale and purchase of MDH's Madras Curry Powder and Sambhar Masala, as well as Everest's Fish Curry Masala. In response, MDH stated, "We have not been approached by food safety authorities in either Hong Kong or Singapore about these findings."

Also Read | Do MDH, Everest masala cause cancer? Why have Hong Kong, Singapore banned some Indian spices? Explained

MDH reassured consumers, stating, "We do not use ethylene oxide at any stage of our spice production. Our products adhere to stringent health and safety standards both in India and internationally." The company also noted that neither the Spice Board of India nor the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had been contacted by the regulatory bodies of Hong Kong or Singapore regarding these findings.

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The statement from MDH emphasized, "The allegations lack evidence and are thus baseless and unsubstantiated." Following these events, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) also recalled Everest's Fish Curry Masala. Despite these challenges, MDH continues to assert the safety and authenticity of its spices, underlining its commitment to quality.

"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," the company said.

India, as the world's leading producer, consumer, and exporter of spices, saw nearly 32,000 crore in exports in the 2022-23 fiscal year, highlighting the industry's substantial scale and global impact.

Does ethylene oxide cause cancer?

Ethylene oxide (EtO) is widely used as a sterilant in medical and industrial settings, making its potential health impacts a significant concern. The carcinogenic potential of EtO is primarily attributed to its ability to form adducts with DNA, leading to mutations that can initiate cancer. Additionally, exposure to EtO can cause other genetic damages such as chromosomal aberrations, which further contribute to its carcinogenicity. These findings, detailed in recent research published in 2023, are crucial for understanding the risks associated with EtO exposure, particularly in occupational settings where its use is prevalent. The evidence from these studies forms the basis for regulatory measures aimed at minimizing exposure and protecting public health. For more detailed findings and discussions on this topic, access the study on ethylene oxide's evidence of carcinogenicity published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute

(With Inputs from PTI)

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Published: 28 Apr 2024, 10:33 AM IST
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