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Stalled Indian rice exports to US now being cleared

By Ankush Chibber , 08-Dec-2011

Indian consignments of basmati rice held up at US ports because of the presence of a banned pesticide are now being cleared, according to ministerial sources.

Since July this year consignments of Indian basmati rice exported to the US were being held on arrival after the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) found traces of tricyclazole in some containers.

US-manufactured tricyclazole is a widely used pesticide in rice-growing countries across Asia, particularly in India, China and Japan. But it is not authorised as safe by the USFDA.

An official at India’s Agricultural and Processed Food Products Exports Development Authority (APEDA) told FoodNavigator-Asia that the USFDA has now cleared most of quarantined containers.

The APEDA official said the USFDA had only detected tricyclazole in some of the 150 containers that were held back.

“All the containers were not checked individually,” he explained, “But now they have been and only a few containers remain to be cleared. We should expect all unaffected consignments to be cleared over the next couple of months.”

The APEDA official said a USFDA safety review was underway for tricyclazole.

“It is my understanding that [All India Rice Exporters Association] have made an appeal or presentation to the USFDA about tricyclazole. But on what grounds they are appealing for the inclusion, I am not sure of,” he said.

The All India Rice Exporters Association was not available for comment at the time of publication.

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