1. Agriculture World

Tea Research Association: Pest Control Protocols Will be Added to FSSAI Standards

FAITTA has said that they have hired M/S Eurofins Analytical Services India Limited to test the teas acquired through auction sales by various bidders, and that these teas failed the FSSAI tea tasting guidelines and are thus unfit for human consumption.

Shruti Kandwal
Tea Research Association: Pest Control Protocols Will be Added to FSSAI Standards
Tea Research Association: Pest Control Protocols Will be Added to FSSAI Standards

The 111-year-old Tea Research Association (TRA), which oversees 70% of Indian tea production's research and development, is revising integrated pest-management techniques to guarantee that association members comply with all FSSAI rules.

The remark comes after reports in the news about some parts of the tea industry failing to comply with maximum residue levels (MRLs) in teas.

Teas that do not comply with the FSSAI requirements will not be sold at the auctions, according to the Tea Board of India.

In a circular to all tea producers’ associations, the Tea Board's Controller of Licensing Rajanigandha Seal Naskar said the board received a letter in May from the Chairman of the Federation of All India Tea Traders Associations (FAITTA) about the failure of teas purchased through auctions under the Food Safety and Standards Act and Regulations.

FAITTA has said that they have hired M/S Eurofins Analytical Services India Limited to test the teas acquired through auction sales by various bidders, and that these teas failed the FSSAI tea tasting guidelines and are thus unfit for human consumption.

The TRA said it is working with India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Agriculture to bring in new MRL-compliant chemicals for the tea sector.

It should be highlighted, according to the organization, that samples that failed in certain labs succeeded in labs with worldwide accreditation in global proficiency exams. Some teas are out of compliance due to MRL detection values established for specific constituents, which the FSSAI has previously increased upwards and reported through a draft notice on August 20, 2020.

The FSSAI has received public feedback on the draft notification and will issue a notification as soon as possible.

"However, it is concerning to note that certain teas that are labelled as non-compliant are mostly owing to laboratories reporting incorrect MRL levels. The MRL values of two compounds, Zineb and Mancozeb, which belong to the dithiocarbamate group of fungicides authorised by FSSAI and the Tea Board of India's Plant Protection Code, are examined using the CS2 concentration of the sample," it stated.

"All dithiocarbamate groups of fungicides tested by CS2 value should be grouped together under dithiocarbamate, and their MRL values should be reported as such." All test reports for EU nations are grouped together. Furthermore, it is impossible to determine the precise source of CS2 in the sample, and the actual source of CS2 can only be determined utilizing a comprehensive blockchain and traceability system," it stated.

According to the organization, this type of reporting is inaccurate and causes uncertainty in the tea business, which has a significant impact on tea prices during the second flush's peak quality season.

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