More Than 400 Indian Food Products Contaminated with Cadmium, Pesticides, and Fungus

Media reports indicate that the European Union has recently raised concerns regarding the safety of more than 400 Indian food products contaminated with Cadmium, Pesticides, and Fungus.

After conducting a thorough review spanning from 2019 to 2024, it has been discovered that these products, intended for export, contain hazardous levels of contaminants such as carcinogens and toxins, which pose significant health hazards.

Deccan Herald reported that EU inspectors conducted a thorough investigation and found that 14 products contained dangerous substances like mercury and cadmium. These substances are known to have harmful effects on the kidneys and cardiovascular system.

The contaminated products included fish with exceptionally high levels of mercury and other items that were found to have cadmium.

Cadmium, a harmful heavy metal, can build up in the body, especially in the kidneys, leading to potential damage. It impairs the kidney’s ability to eliminate waste and may result in the loss of vital proteins.

Prolonged exposure to cadmium can also result in weakened bones (osteomalacia) and reduced bone density (osteoporosis), raising the likelihood of fractures.

Upon further examination, it was discovered that tricyclazole, a fungicide prohibited in the EU due to its cancer-causing and genetic damage properties, was present in basic goods like rice, herbs, and spices.

Shockingly, over 52 products were found to have various pesticides or fungicides, with certain items containing up to five different chemicals.

Chemicals known as pesticides and fungicides are utilized in agriculture to eliminate or manage pests and fungal infections. However, when individuals are excessively or continuously exposed to these substances, they can potentially cause a range of detrimental effects on the human body.

The severity of these effects is influenced by the specific chemical involved, the level of exposure, and an individual’s susceptibility.

The EU inspectors discovered 2-chloroethanol, a toxic by-product of ethylene oxide treatment, in approximately 20 products.

Shatavari, ashwagandha, and sesame seeds

Additionally, ochratoxin A, a banned mycotoxin known for its harmful health effects, was found in 10 products such as chilies, coffee, and rice.

Mycotoxins are dangerous substances produced by certain fungi, and their presence in food can lead to severe health issues. High levels of mycotoxins can cause acute poisoning, resulting in serious illness or even death shortly after consumption.

Symptoms of acute mycotoxin poisoning may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, convulsions, and in severe cases, acute liver failure.

Salmonella was also detected in organic products like Shatavari, ashwagandha, and sesame seeds, among 100 other contaminated items. Salmonella is a bacteria that can contaminate food and is a common cause of foodborne illnesses.

Furthermore, aflatoxins, potent carcinogens known to cause liver damage and cancer, were found in groundnut kernels and nutcrackers.

Other contaminants identified include chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxic insecticide found in rice flour and coriander seed powder, which is associated with various health issues including neurodevelopmental disorders in children and reproductive health problems.

Moringa leaves and pods were found to contain monocrotophos and imidacloprid, pesticides classified as neurotoxins.

These findings highlight the need for stricter quality control and regulatory oversight in India’s food export industry, as well as by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority of the Commerce and Industries Ministry.


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