Modi govt says imported Moong and Masoor dals  likely to be poisonous

FSSAI has issued warning to people to halt the consumption of Moong and Masoor dal. These lentils contain residues of the highly toxic herbicide Glyphosate, used by farmers to clear weeds

By NH Web Desk

The Food Safety and Standards of India (FSSAI) has issued warning to people to halt the consumption of Moong and Masoor dal. These lentils contain residues of the highly toxic herbicide Glyphosate, used by farmers to clear weeds. It is being imported from Canada and Australia.

India does not have its own regulations on toxic herbicide Glyphosate. Therefore, FSSAI has adopted the international standards in order to ensure that the lentils being sold are safe for consumption.

According to report in The Pioneer, "There is a possibility of higher levels of residues of the herbicide Glyphosate in pulses which could adversely affect the health of consumers here. Since the maximum residual limits (MRL) for Glyphosate in pulses has not been specified in the FSSAI regulations, we have asked the concerned officials to follow the MRL for the herbicide as specified in the Codex standards,” said Food Safety and Standards of India official.

Till 2015, the herbicide Glyphosate was considered to be safe but then the WHO’s IARC classified it as a probable human carcinogen. In India, it seems that Glyphosate is being used as a pre-harvest desiccant in several crops resulting in high residues in food.

FSSAI has also directed laboratories to test the pulses for ‘Glyphosate” along with other parameters.

The apex food regulation authority came into action after Canadian food security activist Santanu Mitra alleged that imported lentils from Australia moong dal and Canadian masoor dal contain high level of Glyphosate. Food safety and agricultural scientists too are issuing warning that the use of glyphosate may prove dangerous as in Sri Lanka, where many sugarcane farmers died due to renal failure after being overexposed to the herbicide.

“Mitra thinks that the Indian diet might have become overly contaminated from imported pulses. The pulses need to be tested for glyphosate residue at every entry point which is not being carried out presently,” said an FSSAI official.

Till 2015, the herbicide Glyphosate was considered to be safe but then the WHO’s IARC classified it as a probable human carcinogen. In India, it seems that Glyphosate is being used as a pre-harvest desiccant in several crops resulting in high residues in food.

Dr GV Ramanjaneyulu, agricultural scientist and founder of Centre for Sustainable Agriculture said in a report that while it is mandatory to label organic products, imported pulses are not labelled. “It's very difficult to find out if we are consuming Canadian pulses or locally grown ones, if they are sold in loose,” he warned.

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