Moong and masoor dal are staples in an Indian household, but Food Safety and Standards of India (FSSAI) has enough reasons to believe it may be poisoned. The food regulatory body of India has sent out a warning to the country, saying that moong and masoor dal, particularly the ones imported from countries like Canada and Australia are unfit for consumption. These lentils may be coated with a highly-toxic weed killer known as Glyphosate used indiscriminately by the farmers in these countries.
India doesn’t have its own regulations on the Glyphosphate yet. That’s why FSSAI has adopted the Codex Alimentarius international food standards guidelines for Glyphosphate regulations as of now. How to Check Purity of Milk, Honey, Food Grains & Other Household Products: Common Tests Guidelines from FSSAI for Adulteration.
“There is a possibility of higher levels of residues of the herbicide Glyphosate in pulses which could adversely affect the health of consumers here. Since the maximum residual limits (MRL) for Glyphosate in pulses has not been specified in the FSSAI regulations, we have asked the concerned officials to follow the MRL for the herbicide as specified in the Codex standards,” explained an FSSAI official to The Pioneer.
Why is Glyphosate?
Glyphosate is the most widely-used herbicide with broad spectrum applications and is marketed under the name Roundup. It has been used widely after the development of glyphosate-resistant genetically modified varieties.
Glyphosate was introduced in 1974, so all the regulatory assessments say that it has low hazard potential for animals and humans. However, the International Agency for Research on Cancer stated in March 2015 that glyphosate can be carcinogenic. Vegetarians Beware! Paneer Adulterated With Urea and Sulphuric Acid Seized By Health Officials In Mohali.
The damage goes far beyond just carcinogenicity. A review in the journal Environmental Health says Glyphosate can also “contaminate water sources, precipitation and air, especially at agricultural regions.
The half-life of glyphosate in water is longer than previously thought. Even soy products may contain glyphosate and its metabolites. Due to its unregulated use in many countries, human exposure to the deadly chemical is also increasing, raising risk for cancers.
Experts recommend thoroughly washing the food under running water for a couple of times before using it. Using specially-designed rinses to remove the residue will help to a certain extent. Dry the produce by wiping it with a tissue paper or a cloth to remove the residue.