Spices Board Implements Measures in Response to Bans on Indian Spice Brands in Singapore and Hong Kong

Spices Board Implements Measures in Response to Bans on Indian Spice Brands in Singapore and Hong Kong

India, the world’s leading producer, consumer, and exporter of spices, faces challenges with certain spice brands like MDH and Everest being banned in Singapore and Hong Kong due to quality concerns.

Actions Taken by the Spices Board

  • Mandatory Testing Implementation: The Spices Board, under the commerce ministry, has initiated mandatory testing of spice consignments destined for Singapore and Hong Kong.
  • Collaboration with Exporters: The board is collaborating with exporters whose consignments have been recalled to identify root causes and recommend corrective measures.
  • Inspections: Thorough inspections are being conducted at exporter facilities to ensure compliance with regulatory standards.
  • Industry Consultation: The Spices Board has conducted industry consultations and established systems for mandatory ETO testing in spice consignments bound for Singapore and Hong Kong.

Regulatory Measures

  • Stringent Protocols: The board has set stringent protocols and guidelines for ETO residue to uphold food safety and quality.
  • Coordination with Authorities: Indian embassies in Singapore and Hong Kong have been directed to provide detailed reports, and the ministry seeks information from the banned firms, MDH and Everest, regarding alleged pesticide contamination.

Awareness and Monitoring

  • Advisory Circular: An advisory circular is being issued to raise awareness among the export community regarding ETO contamination, along with comprehensive guidelines.
  • Global Parameters: The Spices Board is updating and disseminating detailed information on regulations regarding ETO from various countries to exporters and the public.
  • Strict Monitoring: Spice consignments to all countries will be strictly monitored for ETO presence.

Laboratory Testing and Consumer Awareness

  • Laboratory Readiness: NABL accredited laboratories of the Spices Board are prepared to test ETO contamination in spice consignments.
  • Consumer Awareness: Efforts are being made to inform consumers not to buy banned products, and traders not to sell them.

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs):

  1. Why are certain spice brands facing bans in Singapore and Hong Kong?
    • A) Due to excessive use of pesticides
    • B) Quality concerns
    • C) High prices
    • D) Political reasons
    • Answer: B) Quality concerns
  2. What is the Spices Board doing to address the ban on Indian spice brands?
    • A) Issuing advisories to consumers
    • B) Mandating testing of spice consignments
    • C) Implementing price controls
    • D) Launching marketing campaigns
    • Answer: B) Mandating testing of spice consignments
  3. What is ETO, mentioned in the article?
    • A) A spice brand
    • B) A food safety standard
    • C) A sterilizing agent
    • D) An Indian regulatory authority
    • Answer: C) A sterilizing agent
  4. What is the primary concern of the Spices Board regarding spice exports?
    • A) Export volume
    • B) Consumer health and safety
    • C) Brand popularity
    • D) Government regulations
    • Answer: B) Consumer health and safety
  5. What is the role of Indian embassies in the situation?
    • A) Imposing bans on spice brands
    • B) Testing spice consignments
    • C) Providing detailed reports
    • D) Marketing Indian spices
    • Answer: C) Providing detailed reports