FSSAI Releases Orders For Testing of Pulses For Carcinogens
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FSSAI Releases Orders For Testing of Pulses For Carcinogens

Dals & Pulses are a staple food in India. As per government figures, 50.8 Lakh tonnes of pulses worth Rs 17,280 crore has been imported by India in the April to December period of the financial year. In the past few days, there are have been reports in the media, which warned people against eating’poisonous’ dals, particularly masoor and moong dals. The reports were motivated by an order which taught its import branch to test imported dals for the presence of the herbicide glyphosate. The order came after the FSSAI noted that India currently doesn’t have any food safety regulations related to levels of glyphosate in pulses. Glyphosate is an ingredient found from where India imports pulses in a specific brand of herbicide or weed killer, which is used.

There have been claims in the current times that glyphosate might be carcinogenic. In order to deal with these concerns of alleged toxicity of dals, FSSAI published a circular dated October 12, 2018, which says, “There is a possibility of higher levels of residues of herbicide “glyphosate” in pulses, thereby negatively impacting the health of the consumers.” However, FSSAI insists that there is no concern of any kind.

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As per FSSAI Order lab testing should be done on imported Beans, Lentil, peas, and Soybean to measure the levels of glyphosate. The regional offices are to collect the data from the labs and present at FSSAI headquarters every 15 days.

As per Internationally accepted Minimum Residue Limit (MRL), the following MRL of glyphosate in pulses (in a dry state) will be considered to be as standard until further changes are observed in the codex website.
  • Beans – 2 mg/kg
  • Lentils – 5 mg/kg
  • Peas – 5 mg/kg
  • Soya Bean – 20 mg/kg

The usage of herbicides & pesticides on the crops has to be monitored and controlled by all countries to keep a check on the quality of the crops, to make sure its devoid of carcinogenic substances that can affect the health of the consumers on a large scale. This initiative taken by FSSAI is applauded and let’s hope the pulses being served to the consumers are safe.


Shekhar Suman is the CEO & Managing Director of BioTecNika Info Labs Pvt Ltd, An avid reader who is passionate about Bio Sciences and has gifted us BioTecNika