Nepal Bans Indian Spices, Boosting Local Sales Amid Health Concerns

Nepal Bans Indian Spices, Boosting Local Sales Amid Health Concerns
Nepal Bans Indian Spices, Boosting Local Sales Amid Health Concerns
Nepal Bans Indian Spices, Boosting Local Sales Amid Health Concerns
Nepal Bans Indian Spices, Boosting Local Sales Amid Health Concerns

Nepal Bans Indian Spices, Boosting Local Sales Amid Health Concerns

Nepal Bans Indian Spices, Boosting Local Sales Amid Health Concerns

Nepal Bans Indian Spices, Boosting Local Sales Amid Health Concerns

Key Highlights:

  1. Nepal bans Indian spices after detecting high levels of ethylene oxide.
  2. Local spice market sees a surge in demand for traditionally made spices.
  3. Authorities intensify testing and public awareness of food safety.

Kathmandu [Nepal], May 19 (ANI): Nepali consumers are returning to locally manufactured spices after the government banned several Indian spices due to high levels of ethylene oxide. The ancient market of Ason, known for its traditional ingredients, has seen an increase in demand for locally produced spices.

Shopkeeper Sagar Tuladhar in Kathmandu’s Ason market highlighted, “We sell locally manufactured spices following traditional formulas. Consumers prefer home-made masala over Indian-brand spices due to cancer-causing elements found in them.”

This week, Nepal’s food safety agency banned the sales and imports of MDH and Everest spices and initiated a recall of products in customs clearance. This move followed similar bans by Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Maldives, and scrutiny by Australian authorities.

The Federation of Indian Spice Stakeholders (FISS) defended the use of ethylene oxide (EtO) for treating spices, stating it controls harmful microorganisms like Salmonella and E-Coli. However, concerns remain over EtO’s carcinogenic properties.

Consumer Bhawana Gautam supported the ban, saying, “I was shocked to learn about the harmful components in Indian spices. I will now only use locally processed spices.”

Ethylene oxide, used primarily in chemical production and as a sterilizing agent, is linked to cancers such as lymphoma, leukemia, stomach, and breast cancers. Nepal’s food watchdog has directed priority testing for ethylene oxide and increased public awareness.

Shopkeeper Jason Tuladhar welcomed the ban but noted, “Awareness is low. I inform customers about the ban and its health implications.”

India, the world’s largest spice producer, exported $4 billion worth of spices in 2022-23. Nepal imported significant quantities of Everest and MDH spices from India last fiscal year, amounting to millions of rupees.

Tuladhar appreciated the government’s actions but called for more consistent screenings, “Regular testing would ensure safer food for everyone.”

About Healthcare Global Enterprises Limited:

HealthCare Global Enterprises Ltd. (HCG), headquartered in Bengaluru, is India’s largest cancer care provider. HCG operates 21 comprehensive cancer centers across India and Africa, along with seven fertility centers under the “Milann” brand.

Source: ANI

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