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MDH-Everest Controversy: AICPDF Warns FMCG Distributors to Avoid Stockpiling

May 14, 2024

MDH-Everest Controversy: All India Consumer Products Distributors Federation (AICPDF), a body that represents distributors of fast-moving consumer goods in India, has warned distributors to exercise caution on heavy stocking of masalas.

The move comes at a time when India’s safety food regulator has ordered nationwide testing and inspections at companies making spice mixes, widening a crackdown on the sector as global regulators investigate contamination issues with the country’s two popular brands – MDH and Everest.

In a statement on Saturday, AICPDF noted that there are high chances that these brands will come under the radar of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), and necessary measures will be taken to safeguard human health.

It further said the move by India’s safety food regulator could potentially have a significant impact on the sales of these products and cautioned distributors to refrain from stocking products that may contain carcinogenic ingredients.

Everest faces the challenge of overcrowding, commercialisation hits Mount Everest hardUnmute

“We advise you to proceed cautiously and restrain yourself from stocking up on these products to a limited extent, until clearance is received from the necessary authorities,” the body said in a statement.

Last month, Hong Kong suspended sales of three spice blends made by MDH and a spice mix for fish curry manufactured by Everest. Similarly, Singapore ordered a recall of the same Everest mix as well, citing high levels of ethylene oxide, citing the substance as unfit for human consumption and a cancer risk with long exposure.

MDH and Everest products are immensely popular in India and are also sold throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. Although the companies have maintained their products are safe for consumption, U.S. and Australian food authorities have stated they are gathering more information on the matter.

In the meantime, the Indian regulator has now instructed officials to conduct “extensive inspections, sampling and testing at all the manufacturing units” specializing in powdered spices, with a particular focus on those producing curry powders and mixed spice blends for both domestic and international sales.

In a statement, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, as quoted by Reuters, said, “Each of the product sampled will be analysed for compliance with quality and safety parameters.”

The agency added checks would also be made for any presence of ethylene oxide, whose use is banned in India, and “appropriate actions will be initiated as fit” after testing is complete.

India is the world’s biggest exporter, producer and consumer of spices, and its domestic market for the products was valued at $10.44 billion in 2022, according to Zion Market Research as reported by Reuters.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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