AWB team to arrive soon to check pesticide content in imported wheat
New Delhi, May 1 (UNI) A team of Australian Wheat Board(AWB) will soon arrive in India to ascertain the veracity of a laboratory report detecting dangerous levels of pesticide residue in its consignment of wheat shipped to the Chennai port.
The contention of AWB is that the methedology for testing the pesticides content in the sample was different from the one adopted by it.
Officials of the State Trade Corporation(STC) which had contracted the import of 5 lakh tonne of wheat from the AWB, on behalf of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) feels that the AWB should be given the chance to counter the laboratory report.
It has claimed that the pesticide content in the imported wheat cargo was 0.25 ppm-around 50 times more than the permissible limit of 0.05 ppm.
Following the Chennai laboratory report which declared that the imported stock was unfit for human consumption, the unloading of shipment of 50,000 tonne was suspended by the port authorities.
However, more samples have been referred to the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) for further confirmation of the initial testing report.
Meanwhile, Forum for Biosecurity and Food Safety claimed that Australian wheat contained 14 weeds, of them 11 are exotic for India. There are reports that three weeds found in Australian stocks also are already present in India.
Opposing the import of the Australian wheat, Forum Chief Devinder Sharma said there are high probability of Australian weeds entering into India like that of parthemium, popularly known as a congress grass, which came to India from USA with the imported wheat stocks under PL 480.
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