FSSAI Directs Officers to Instruct Labs to Test Presence of Glyphosate

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FSSAI instructs labs to test presence of glyphosate, according to a report published on October 19, 2018.

The use of glyphosate, an herbicide found in pulses, has many adverse effects. Along with other testing parameters, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has asked the authorized officers to instruct the laboratories to test the presence of glyphosate. An order by the country’s apex food regulator said that there are chances of higher level of residues of glyphosate in pulses. High levels of glyphosate adversely affect the health of consumers when these pulses are consumed.

All the authorized officers are informed to direct the lab assistant to test the presence of glyphosate along with other testing parameters when submitting the pulses samples. Moreover, the data collected by the regional officers regarding the presence of glyphosate found in pulses needs to be submitted at FSSAI headquarters every fortnightly.

The apex food regulator have informed to follow the maximum residue limits (MRLs) for glyphosate as specified in Codex standards with regards to import clearances. The MRL specified for commodities are beans (dry) up to 2mg/kg; lentils (dry) 5mg/kg; peas (dry) 5mg/kg, and soybean (dry) 20 mg/ kg. Reference of Codex can be accessed from time to time for upgrade in MRL of glyphosate in pulses that the order recommended.

Although glyphosate was considered to be safe, the World Health Organization’s IARC classified it as a probable human carcinogen in 2015. It is used as a pre-harvest desiccant in several crops in India.

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