Home > News > Lastest News > Article

US finds pesticide residue in Indian basmati, exports plunge

China Agriculture Report By CnAgriChina Agriculture Report Print In the first quarter of calendar year 2013, exports were down to 19,583 tonne. With 31 Indian rice firms under US FDA import alert amid 100% scrutiny, the rice export lobby feels that the US is employing a virtual zero-tolerance policy on Indian pesticides that have been used around the world for years and raised no health concerns. US diplomatsic officials say they have discovered residues of chemicals not approved for use in the US in Indian basmati rice and such shipments have been rejected.

Indian companies see the US market as a strong branded market which sets benchmark prices and want the government to take up the issue with its US counterpart. "Exporters are very concerned about the US law and policy on the presence of residues of particular pesticides in rice," said Rajan Sundaresan, president, All India Rice Exporters Association.

He added that without having conducted a risk assessment, the US was raising questions on pesticides that have been tested recently by other WTO members and the Codex Alimentarius (established by FAO and WHO, the agency develops international food standards), leading them to adopt minimum residue limits (MRLs) that are considerably higher than the US limit.

Four pesticides, namely Buprofezin, Carbendazim, Isoprothiolane and Tricyclazole that are commonly used by Indian farmers, have been found to be present at extremely low levels in the shipments, said Sundaresan.

"Many of the US' trading partners like Japan and the EU and Codex have conducted risk assessments and set MRLs for these pesticides. The levels set by those MRLs do not act as a barrier to trade because the residues are comfortably below them. Meanwhile, the levels of pesticides the US authorities have detected have been far, far below these thresholds," said Sundaresan. India annually exports 2.5-3 million tonne basmati rice, with Iran and the West Asia the biggest market.

Basmati rice exports from India to the United States have increased from 55,762 tonne in 2009 to a record 104,400 tonne in 2012. "In the previous year, Indian rice exports to the United States hit an all-time record of $140 million. We would like to continue working with Indian exporters," said a USA diplomatic official in New Delhi.

Explore Realted News »
Explore Realted Reports »
CnAgri DB