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APEDA Bans 5 Organic Certifying Firms After European Union’s Blacklisting

Abin Joseph
Abin Joseph
Shipments For Export At A Dockyard

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has fined five organic certifying agencies for being blacklisted from certifying organic food that was exported from India. The accreditation of one of these firms was also suspended for a year while four other agencies were barred from registering any new processor or exporter for organic products certification.

This move by APEDA was taken after October 5 when the European Commission (EC) had proposed to blacklist five certification firms from certifying organic food exported from India due to them failing to meet the regulatory standards for the presence of Ethylene Oxide (ETO).

These are the organizations that were banned:

  • OneCert International Pvt Ltd

APEDA which is the supervising authority for organic certification fined OneCert a total of Rs. 5 lakh, because four of its exporter’s organic sesame, hulled sesame, white sesame, amaranth, and flax seeds shipments were found to be in violation of the ETO minimum presence norm. In a letter explaining its actions following a hearing in September, APEDA stated that 36 of the EU complaints were about shipments certified by OneCert.

  • ECOCERT India Pvt Ltd

Four EU reports of irregularities were found in shipments approved by ECOCERT India Pvt Ltd. Despite the fact that there was a significant danger of cross-contamination with conventional products, it was deemed "minimal" in terms of adhering to the standards. It had also failed to notify the problem at the time of its initial inspection or during its yearly inspection.

  • Indian Organic Certification Agency (Indocert)

13 shipments of sesame, amaranth & quinoa seed from two exporters with EU irregularity notices were approved. The ETO level in one of the shipments was 11 mg/kg.

  • CU Inspections India Pvt Ltd

Nine EU alerts were discovered in organic consignments authorized by CU Inspections India Ltd, mainly for shipments by two exporters.

  • Aditi Organic Certifications Pvt Ltd.

APEDA discovered seven EU complaints against sesame, psyllium husk & brown flax seed that had been delivered by an exporter Certified by Aditi Organic Certifications. It was also accused of failing to identify the source of contamination with ETO levels as high as 24 mg/kg compared to the industry standard of 0.1 mg/kg.

All five of the above-mentioned firms were listed as high risk & except concert which was fined Rs 5 lakh, the rest were fined Rs 2 lakh.

It is speculated that APEDA has taken strong action against, OneCert due to the 36 alerts issued against them by the European Union.

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