The Malaysian Health Ministry (MOH) has halted the sale of two popular Indian spice brands, MDH and Everest. This decision comes after concerns arose about the presence of a harmful pesticide called ethylene oxide in these products.

Media Reports and Government Action

Recent media reports highlighted the issue, pushing for the discontinuation of Everest Fish Curry Masala and MDH Curry Powder. The MOH responded by ordering all traders, including those online, to stop selling these products. They also asked e-commerce platforms and social media to stop advertising them right away.

Makrogol powder photographed against a black background in the studio This is Makrogol powder photographed against a black background in the studio Ethylene Oxide stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
source: istock

What is Ethylene Oxide?

Ethylene oxide is a chemical used to kill pests and control germs in spices. However, it is carcinogenic, meaning it can cause cancer. Because of this, its use is banned in food products and materials that come into contact with food.

Import Details and Safety Measures

As of April 2024, Malaysia reported that Everest Fish Curry Masala had only been imported once, and there were no records of MDH Curry Powder imports. The health ministry continues to check spice products for harmful substances like aflatoxins, heavy metals, and pesticide residues at all entry points into the country.

Actions Taken by Indian Government

The Indian government has instructed Everest to address the issue of ethylene oxide in their products. Meanwhile, tests on MDH samples showed they met the required safety standards.

Monitoring and Compliance

From 2019 to April 2024, the ministry conducted tests on 43 samples of these spices. All samples complied with Malaysia's Food Act 1983 and the Food Regulations 1985, ensuring they were safe for consumption.