The FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) has warned that lentils imported from Australia and Canada might contain high residues of Glyphosate, a highly toxic herbicide used by farmers to clear weeds.
"There is a possibility of higher levels of residues of the herbicide Glyphosate in pulses thereby adversely affecting the health of consumers here. As the MRL (maximum residual limits) for Glyphosate in pulses has not been specified in the FSSAI regulations, therefore for the time being MRL for Glyphosate in pulses as specified in the Codex standards shall be taken into consideration for the purpose of import clearances," a statement from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) reads.
India does not have its own regulations on the herbicide Glyphosate and thus the FSSAI has adopted the international standards for the time being.
The measure by the FSSAI was prompted by an alarm raised by food security activist Santanu Mitra (Tony Mitra), who has been fighting for a ban on the use of Glyphosate in Canada, alleging that Australian and Canadian lentils can be toxic, since they contain a considerable amount of Glyphosate.
Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum, non-selective herbicide that destroys plant tissue by inhibiting photosynthesis, cellular growth, and nucleic acid production and is the world's largest selling herbicide. Monsanto is the major manufacturer of Glyphosate. It is considered highly toxic. Overconsumption of Glyphosate affects the kidneys.