The FSSAI has drafted some amendments in the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins, and Residues) Regulation 2011 related to MRL of pesticides. The FSSAI has also invited comments, views, and suggestions from stakeholders by 8 February 2018. Once approved these regulations may be called the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins, and Residues) Amendment Regulations, 2017.
In the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins, and Residues) Regulations, 2011, in regulation dealing with Residues (2.3), for sub-regulation 2.3.1, the following sub-regulation shall be substituted “2.3.1: Restriction on the use of insecticides
(1) Subject to the provisions of regulation 2.3.1(2), no insecticides shall be used directly on articles of food:
Provided that nothing in this regulation shall apply to the fumigants which are registered and recommended for use as such on articles of food by the Registration Committee, constituted under section 5 of the Insecticides Act, 1968 (46 of 1968).
The FSSAI has increased the number of insecticides and has also specified the maximum residue limits in mg/kg of these insecticides on specific foods. MRL on the Food has been specified so that MRL is not general like food-grains but specific like maize, rice wheat, milled food grains
MRL for insecticides has been given for foods like
- Maize, wheat, rice, paddy, soybean, rice bran, corn, dry-fruit, sesamum, sorghum, Mentha
- Milled food grains
- Milk and Milk products
- Meat and meat products
- Poultry and Eggs (shell-free basis)
- Fruits like pineapple, mango, grapes, sugarcane, citrus like orange, acid line and sweet lime, apple, banana (whole), guava, papaya, pomegranate juice, cherry, pomegranate, peaches
- Vegetables like Chilli, Okra, Cabbage, tomato, cucumber, potato, onion, sugar-beet, brinjal, leafy vegetables, bitter gourd, beans, cauliflower, peas, gherkin, mustard, bottle gourd, coconut
- Safflower seed, Cottonseed, Groundnut seed, sunflower seed, rapeseed,
- Cumin, cardamom, pomegranate seeds, pepper, dry chili, mustard seeds,
- Red gram, black gram, Bengal gram, pigeon pea, green gram, chickpea,
- Tea (green and black), coffee
- Carbonated water, Coconut water,
- Cottonseed oil, groundnut oil, soya bean oil, mustard oil
The new amended list contains 219 names of insecticides along with MRL of these insecticides on the above-mentioned foods. Each insecticide and MRL on specific foods have been mentioned in the Tabular form in great detail. The insecticide names are in alphabetical order and so it is easy to check the names and MRL on specific foods.
NOTE: All these Maximum Residue Limit/tolerance limit values are provisional for a period of five years and not fixed on the basis of actual data in the Indian context. They may be reviewed after five years or as and when the relevant scientific data is made available to Food Safety and Standard Authority of India, whichever is earlier.
This article is only a summary of the amendments. One can refer to fssai.gov.in for more details.