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Drive against pesticide residue in products to be intensified

Drive against pesticide residue in products to be intensified

Thiruvananthapuram: After many states banning Maggi noodles, the State government Wednesday decided to bring all instant food products and curry/masala powder of all brands under the scanner, warning that any product found adulterated or containing high pesticide residue would be prohibited.

A high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Ommen Chandy also decided to set up special courts to deal with cases related to food adulteration.

"All food products in the open market would be subjected to tests. Government would take steps to ban it if found to be contaminated," state Food Minister Anoop Jacob and Health Minister V S Sivakumar told a joint press conference here after the meeting.

As part of the government's drive against sale of vegetables with high pesticides residue content coming from neighbouring states, the Chief Minister would write to his counterparts seeking steps to prevent the supply of such vegetables, Sivakumar said.

An inter-state secretary level meeting would be convened next month to discuss the matter, he said.

A state level co-ordination committee with wholesale vegetable traders would be constituted to monitor the arrival of vegetables from other states, he said.

Out of 708 samples of spices tested, as many as 64 were found to be containing high pesticide content and out of 418 vegetable samples tested, 26 were found to have high pesticide residue, he said.

As part of efforts to prevent sale of such vegetables, government has made it mandatory for all vegetables traders to get license and registration, Sivakumar added.

Kerala Government had issued an order to stop distribution of Maggi noodles from over 1,000 retail outlets run by it in the state in the wake of Uttar Pradesh FSDA finding monosodium glutamate and lead above permissible limits in the popular snack.

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