Reading Time: 3 minutes
Listen to this article

Food Safety Alert: EU Flags Contaminated Indian Food Products


The saying “we are what we eat” highlights the significance of a nutritious diet. However, there have been recent reports about the contamination of food and spices with carcinogenic substances, which has caused considerable concern regarding food safety.

Reports indicate that between 2019 and 2024, the EU flagged over 400 export-quality products from India as highly contaminated. This news has raised doubts about the safety of commonly consumed food items, and the efficacy of quality control measures that are in place in the food industry.

Toxic Heavy Metals Detected in Seafood

One of the major findings indicates the presence of toxic heavy metals such as mercury and cadmium in seafood products, including fish like octopus and squid. These metals pose serious health risks upon ingestion, potentially leading to chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular issues, and even an increased risk of cancer. Long-term exposure to cadmium, in particular, has been associated with detrimental effects on overall health and well-being.

Carcinogenic Pesticides Contaminate Rice and Spices

The report highlights the alarming presence of carcinogenic pesticides in a variety of food items, including rice, herbs and spices. Chemicals such as tricyclazole (a banned fungicide in the EU) have been detected raising concerns about the potential health hazards associated with their consumption. Additionally, the presence of multiple pesticides in some products further exacerbates the risk with implications for both short-term and long-term health.

Dangerous Toxins Found in Common Ingredients

The report also unveils the presence of hazardous toxins in everyday ingredients. Ochratoxin A (a banned mycotoxin) was discovered in products like chillies, coffee and rice posing serious health risks to consumers. Similarly, aflatoxins, known carcinogens were found in groundnut kernels and nutcrackers highlighting the potential for liver damage and cancer upon ingestion.

Concerns Over Pesticide Residues

The detection of pesticides such as Chlorpyrifos in rice flour and monocrotophos in moringa leaves and pods raises concerns about the impact of these chemicals on human health. Both Chlorpyrifos and monocrotophos are neurotoxic substances, with potential implications for neurodevelopmental disorders and other adverse health effects, especially with chronic exposure.

Microbial Contamination Raises Health Concerns

In addition to chemical contaminants, microbial contamination was also identified in several products. Salmonella was detected in organic Shatavari, ashwagandha and sesame seeds, among others. Moreover, Vibrio vulnificus was found in frozen raw peeled shrimp tails, posing a significant risk to consumers.


It is crucial to implement strict quality control measures and regulatory oversight within the food industry. The presence of harmful substances in commonly eaten food items raises serious health concerns. Therefore, authorities and food producers must work together effectively to prevent such contamination and safeguard public health.

Source: Inputs from various media Sources

the aartery chronicles

Priya Bairagi

Scroll to Top