Nepal bans sale of four MDH and Everest spice products

Published On: May 17, 2024 11:33 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 17: Nepal has banned the sale of four spice products produced in India. The government has prohibited three spice products from MDH and one from Everest.

Director General of the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control, Dr Matina Joshi Vaidya, said that the sale and use of MDH's mix masala, sambar masala, Madras curry masala and Everest’s fish masala has been banned.

She said that at the international level, these two spices have been banned due to the suspicion that pesticide ethylene oxide has been found in the products.

The ban is due to concerns over the presence of the pesticide ethylene oxide in these products. Dr Vaidya stated, "The four products of MDH and Everest are being tested for ethylene oxide at the international level, and we are also preparing to conduct our own tests. Until the results are available, the use and distribution of these spices are banned. However, other products from these brands are not affected."

Earlier, Hong Kong and Singapore banned the spices of MDH and Everest, and the UK is also considering a ban on those products.

The consumption of ethylene oxide, which is said to be found in these spices, which are exported to different countries of the world, does not have an immediate effect on health, but long-term consumption increases the risk of cancer.

What is ethylene oxide?

Ethylene oxide is a colorless gas. According to the National Cancer Institute of India, this gas is used to make chemicals like ethylene glycol. Apart from that, it is also used in textiles, detergents, foams, medicine etc. It is also used in hospitals to clean surgical instruments.

India's International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies ethylene oxide as a Group 1 carcinogen, which has given enough evidence to cause cancer in humans.

People who are regularly exposed to it may experience eye, skin, nose, throat and lung irritation.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to ethylene oxide increases the risk of lymphoid cancer and breast cancer in women.

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