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FSSAI increased the Maximum Residue Limit of pesticides in herbs and spices

Why is it in the news?

  • The Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has raised the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) of pesticides in herbs and spices from 0.01 mg/kg to 0.1 mg/kg.


·        MRL, defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is the highest legally tolerable level of pesticide residue in food or animal feed.


More about the news

  • Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), established jointly by FAO and WHO in 1963, sets MRLs for pesticides in food and feed crops globally.
  • In India, MRLs are specified under the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins, and Residues) Regulation, 2011 by FSSAI, based on field trial data from the Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee (CIBRC) under the Ministry of Agriculture.
  • Issues with increase in MRL: Increasing MRLs can result in higher pesticide ingestion into the human body and potential bans on the export of Indian food items due to elevated pesticide residues.



·        FSSAI is a statutory authority established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

·        Its role includes laying down science-based standards for food articles and regulating their manufacture, storage, distribution, and sale.

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