After Hong Kong And Singapore, Nepal Also Bans Indian Brand ‘Everest, MDH Masala’

Following in the footsteps of Hong Kong and Singapore, Nepal has banned the sale and import of spice-mix products manufactured in India due to suspected quality concerns. 

The Himalayan nation, Nepal prohibited four spice-mix products from the brand MDH and Everest on Friday, 17th May, 2024. The Department of Food Technology and Quality Control in Nepal suspects that the spice-mix products by these Indian brands have ethylene oxide contamination.

According to this report, Madras Curry Powder, Mixed Masala Curry Powder, and Sambhar Mix Masala Powder of MDH brand have been banned in Nepal. The Fish Curry Masala of the Everest brand has also been banned in Nepal. 

Nepal also claims that the residue contents of ethylene oxide found in the above-mentioned masala packaging of the MDH and Everest brand exceed the prescribe limit. As per the guidelines of Article 19 of the Food Regulation 2027 B.S., the import and sale of these four products has been banned within the country.,width-300,height-225,imgsize-15156,resizemode-75/ban-on-mdh-everest-masala-india-seeks-details-from-food-regulators-of-singapore-hong-kong.jpg

According to the reports by the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control in Nepal, a serious attention has been drawn towards the sale of these sub-standard products in the global market. They are rated harmful for consumption. 

The Chief of Nepal’s Food Technology and Quality Control department, Matina Joshi Vaidya, also said that the Himalayan country decided to stop the sale of the spice blends, considering their impact on the health of the public. It deemed the sale and import of such sub-standard products an issue of public health. This is why the country has banned the sale and import of the brands starting Thursday, 16th May 2024.

The Food Technology and Quality Control department in Nepal does not have the lab resources for running tests in their country. The ban will only be lifted when the Indian authorities announce that the spice-mix is safe for consumption, shared the Chief, Matina Joshi Vaidya. Traders and importers have all been urged to recall the mentioned products from the market. 

Recently, Singapore and Hong Kong also imposed bans on the MDH and Everest brand famous in India and exported across the glove, due to the detection of EtO. 

The ethylene oxide compound is used as a pesticide. It also serves as a sterilizing agent in spices and medical equipment to prevent illnesses that are caused because of E.Coli and salmonella bacteria. Regular exposure to the ethylene oxide can lead to risks of white blood cell cancers as highlighted by the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States. 

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has also responded to the statements and move made the Government of Nepal. They have initiated measures for assessing the powdered spices quality of various brands in the country. 

The FISS or Federation of Indian Spice Stakeholders also warned on Friday that the exports of Indian spices can plummet by 40 percent nearly in FY25 if the problem of ethylene oxide contamination is not accurately addressed.