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“Ethylene oxide treatment is done solely for human health,” the FISS said about the spice prohibition

Ahmedabad, India, May 18: In response to the ban on Indian spices in Singapore and Hong Kong, the Federation of Indian Spice Stakeholders has taken action. Nepal has also stated that ethylene oxide (EtO) treatment is carried out to protect people from the negative effects of processed food.

The Federation of Indian Spice Stakeholders (FISS) Chairman, Ashwin Nayak, said in an interview with ANI, “The sole reason this ethylene oxide treatment is done is for people’s health. When spices are added to food without being adequately processed, microbiological elements such as Salmonella, E. coli, aflatoxin, and coliform might be discovered, all of which are harmful to the body. Microbiological factors are brought under control and their harmful effects are minimized when we treat them with ethylene oxide.”

According to FISS, recent export recalls because of the presence of ethylene oxide residues in food have damaged India’s image as the world’s largest producer and exporter of spices. Regarding the usage of ethylene oxide (EtO) in spices and spice products, a number of reports have surfaced. Ethylene oxide should be made clear that it is not a pesticide.

According to FISS, ethylene oxide is a sterilizing chemical that is used in spices and food items to lessen or eradicate microbiological components, including harmful diseases like Salmonella and E. coli. Furthermore, almost 50% of all disposable medical devices worldwide are sterilised using ethylene oxide (ETO). This process sterilises heat-sensitive medical disposables such as syringes and catheters. Even the most susceptible individuals are permitted to use these procedures.

In a press statement, the federation said that ethylene oxide is not a pesticide, assuring consumers and everyone else in question. EtO is a sterilizing chemical that is used to reduce or eliminate microbiological components, including potentially fatal diseases like Salmonella and E. coli, from spices and food items.

“The center of spices is India. The world’s biggest exporter of spices is India. The American Spice Association in America has given its approval to the reason for the current commotion. There are eighty to ninety processed spices among the spices used there, Nayak said.

He said, “Spices are permitted to contain trace levels of ethylene oxide in several places throughout the globe. Thus, there’s no need to have any illusions.”

The FSSI asks the Spice Board to remember the maximum quantity of ethyl oxide permitted in each nation going forward in order to prevent any export-related effects.

The federation made it clear in the statement that EtO is safe for people to consume and that it naturally occurs in plants. Without EtO treatment, EtO contamination might also happen because of its inherent existence. The statement further said that the protection of public health is the main goal of therapy.

During a routine food assessment, the Center for Food Safety in Hong Kong discovered the pesticide in three MDH spice products: Madras Curry Powder, Sambhar Masala Powder, and Curry Powder; also, the pesticide was detected in Everest Group’s Fish Curry Masala.

In line with this, the food regulators in Singapore recalled the goods of both firms upon finding substances linked to cancer.

Ethylene oxide is hazardous for human intake and raises the risk of cancer with prolonged exposure. Nepal joined these two nations and prohibited the import of two brands of Indian spices.

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