FSSAI has Approved a Higher Pesticide Residue limit in Herbs and Spices, Allowing for 10 times the Previous Amount

On Sunday, the government indicated that India has implemented some of the strictest regulations for pesticide residues in food products. It dismissed reports that claimed the food regulator FSSAI permits a Higher Pesticide Residue limit in Herbs and Spices.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has increased the maximum residue limit (MRL) for a pesticide in herbs and spices to 0.1mg/kg, up from the previous limit of 0.01mg/kg.

According to the regulator, if the Codex does not specify MRLs, then an MRL of 0.1 mg will apply for spices and culinary herbs.

The regulator issued an order on April 8, citing “various representations” for this increase in MRL.

According to FSSAI, the maximum residue limit (MRLs) established by CODEX for Myclobutanil in Chili is 20 mg/kg, while FSSAI has set a 2 mg/kg limit. For Spiromesifen in Chili, the Codex limit is 5 mg/kg, whereas the FSSAI limit is 1 mg/kg.

Likewise, the Codex standards for Metalaxyl and Metalaxyl-M in black pepper are 2 mg/kg, while the limit set by FSSAI is 0.5 mg/kg.

In addition to this order, FSSAI has raised the maximum residue limit (MRL) for pesticides not approved in India. This implies that despite these pesticides are prohibited for use within the country, they may still be used on imported products.

Pesticide Residue limit in Herbs and Spices, FSSAI

Supporters expressed concern that the decision would affect exports and raise worries among domestic consumers due to the increased consumption of pesticides.

According to Dileep Kumar, CEO of Pesticide Action Network India, the relaxation in pesticide residue limits for herbs and spices by FSSAI will result in increased rejections of Indian spices in major export markets.

Pesticide Action Network India is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating the harmful effects of pesticides on humans and the environment.

According to him, the order also enables the importation of spices containing higher pesticide levels that are not recognized by Indian regulators, posing potential risks to human health.


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