In this episode of the State of the Economy podcast, businessline’s Amiti Sen talks to with Mohit Singla, Chairman at Trade Promotion Council of India about the recent concerns surrounding the quality and safety of Indian spices following recalls by Hong Kong and Singapore due to ethylene oxide (ETO) contamination. 

ETO is used as a sterilising agent in spices but is considered carcinogenic if present beyond certain limits. This incident has sparked increased scrutiny from other countries like the US, Australia, and New Zealand, prompting significant discussions within the industry. 

Singla provides a comprehensive analysis of the situation, emphasising India’s prominent role in the global spice market as the largest producer, consumer, and exporter. He explains the importance of maintaining high standards for quality and safety to protect India’s reputation and market share. 

Singla addresses the specific concerns raised by the recalls, noting that regulatory frameworks and acceptable residue limits (MRLs) for chemicals like ETO vary significantly across countries. He highlights the ongoing efforts by the Spices Board of India to ensure compliance with international standards, including mandatory ETO testing for exports to Hong Kong and Singapore, a practice already in place for exports to the UK and EU. 

The conversation also explores the broader implications of such regulations on exporters, including increased costs and procedural complexities.  

(Host: Amiti Sen, Producer: Amitha Rajkumar)

About the State of the Economy podcast

India’s economy has been hailed as a bright spot amid the general gloom that seems to have enveloped the rest of the world. But several sectors continue to stutter even as others seem set to fire on all cylinders. To help you make sense of the bundle of contradictions that the country is, businessline brings you podcasts with experts ranging from finance and marketing to technology and start-ups.