This move is aimed at enhancing accountability among producers while also providing consumers with assurance about product safety
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), in collaboration with the Tea Board, held a consultative meeting in Kolkata. During the meeting, both bodies underscored the importance of maintaining tea quality by ensuring that pesticide levels do not surpass the maximum residue limit (MRL) set by it.
The meeting brought together various stakeholders including tea research associations, tea industries, planters and growers to address widespread concerns regarding the quality and safety of tea.
Kamala Vardhana Rao, FSSAI CEO G said, “It is a collective responsibility of all stakeholders towards ensuring tea safety.”
The Food Regulator CEO provided an overview of Food Safety Standards and Regulations (FSSR), highlighting that tea must be free from extraneous matter, added colouring matter and harmful substances. According to him, pesticide levels in tea should not exceed the MRL prescribed in FSSR.
In addition to this, Rao indicated that manufacturers producing flavoured teas are required to register themselves with the Tea Board before they can market their products. This move is aimed at enhancing accountability among producers while also providing consumers with assurance about product safety.
The meeting also focused on discussing prevalent issues such as pesticide residues found in tea leaves and their mode of entry into these leaves. Stakeholders shared their perspectives on harmonizing MRLs for pesticide residues under FSSR regulations along with default MRLs.