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MDH faced numerous rejections in US prior to Hong Kong ban: Report

A cancer-causing chemical was identified in high concentrations in certain spice items from MDH and Everest, which led to a ban in Hong Kong and Singapore last month. The businesses denied these claims and insisted that their goods were secure.

Written by  Annesha Barua -- May 13th 2024 09:37 AM
MDH faced numerous rejections in US prior to Hong Kong ban: Report

MDH faced numerous rejections in US prior to Hong Kong ban: Report

PTC News Desk: According to a Reuters examination of US regulatory data, MDH, a well-known Indian spice brand that was under fire for allegedly contaminating some of its products, had an average of 14.5% of its US exports refused because of the presence of germs.

Following reports of high amounts of a chemical known to cause cancer, Hong Kong and Singapore banned many spice goods from MDH and Everest, a well-known Indian spice company, last month. Long-term exposure to ethylene oxide can result in cancer, making it unsafe for human consumption.

Everest and MDH have both declared their goods to be safe. MDH made it clear that ethylene oxide was not used in the packing, processing, or storage of spices.

Salmonella, a bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illnesses, was found in MDH goods, which is why the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) refused to allow them for sale in the country, according to information gathered by Reuters from the FDA.

According to FDA data, between October 2023 and May 3 of this year, 13 out of MDH's 65 shipments to the US were denied, accounting for about 20% of the total number of shipments. The data showed that fenugreek, mixed spices, and seasoning were included in the 13 rejected shipments.

The data shows that in FY 2022–2023 almost 15% of 119 MDH shipments were rejected, primarily because of the presence of salmonella, whereas in FY 2021–2022 the rejection percentage was 8.19%.

A few MDH product batches were recalled in the US in 2019 due to possible salmonella contamination.

However, Everest had fewer rejections in the US; as of FY 2023–2024, only one out of 450 shipments had been turned down.

Roughly 3.7% of Everest's shipments to the US were halted in 2022–2023. Data from the previous year indicated that none of the 189 shipments made by the corporation to the nation were refused.

A public health alert and a few Everest items were recalled by the FDA last year due to possible salmonella contamination.

Everest's Fish Curry Masala was recalled by Singapore's Food Agency (SFA) last month because the product's ethylene oxide levels were higher than allowed.

SFA made it clear that although low concentrations of ethylene oxide did not immediately pose a harm to health, continuous exposure to the chemical would because it is carcinogenic.

Following the withdrawal of items from, the Spices Board of India has announced mandatory testing for ethylene oxide in spice consignments bound to Singapore and Hong Kong.

"The board is working with the exporters whose consignments have been recalled to ascertain the root cause of the issue and propose corrective measures," said the statement.

- With inputs from agencies

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