The apex food regulator, FSSAI, has issued a Draft Notification on Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Amendment Regulations, 2020, related to MRL (Maximum Residue Level) of pesticides and tolerance limit of antibiotics and toxins.

Under these regulations, the FSSAI has decided to include the subject of crop contamination and naturally occurring toxic substances and prohibited antibiotics and veterinary drugs in production of meat, milk, poultry and seafoods.

The draft prescribes a limit of contaminants and naturally occurring toxic substances for tea, coffee, sugarcane, food grains, vegetables, spices, fruits, cottonseeds, meat & meat products and milk. The draft specified limits for contaminants for specific crops like mango, rice, wheat and rye.

Further, the draft has identified 14 antibiotics and veterinary drugs, which are not permitted to be used at any stage of production of meat and meat products, milk and milk products, poultry and eggs, seafood including shrimps, prawns or any variety of fish and fishery products.

These include 1. Carbadox 2. Chloramphenicol 3. Chlorpromazine 4. Clenbuterol 5. Colistin 6. Crystal Violet (Sum of Crystal Violet and Leucocrystal Violet) 7. Glycopeptides 8. Malachite Green (Sum of Malachite green and Leucomalachite green) 9. Nitrofurans including (a) Furaltadone (b) Furazolidone (c) Nitrofurantoin (d) Nitrofurazone 10. Streptomycin and its metabolite dihydrostreptomycin 11. Nitroimidazoles including (A) Dimetridazole (DMZ) (B) Ronidazole (RNZ) and its metabolite 2-hydroxymethyl-1-methyl-3 nitroimidazole (HMMNI) (C) Ipronidazole (IPZ) and its metabolite Hydroxyipronidazole (D) Metronidazole (MNZ) and its metabolite 3 hydroxymetronidazole 12. Steroids 13. Stilbenes and 14. Sulphamethoxazole.

The draft says that the EMRL of 0.001 mg/kg will be applicable except for Chloramphenicol for which it shall be 0.0003 mg/kg (0.3 ug/kg).

Also, the draft says that the use of any antibiotic is not permitted during honey production. However, in order to test the misuse of antibiotics, the antibiotics specified shall not exceed the Maximum Residue Performance Level (MRPL) specified by the FSSAI.

The stakeholders were asked to submit their comments on the subject by the third week of October.


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