Imported wheat cleared of reported unsafe pesticide presence
New Delhi, May 2 (UNI) Unloading of the imported wheat at Chennai port was resumed today, after a declaration of Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore, stating that the Australian wheat shipment contained the pesticide below the permissible limit of 0.05 ppm.
Ealrier, a Chennai-based laboratory reported that the wheat stocks were carrying pesticide residue to a dangerous level of 0.25 ppm, 50 times more than what is allowed as per the Indian quarantine norms. Consequently, the unloading of the ship was suspended yesterday.
Thereupon, a delegation of the Australian Wheat Board, a monopoly exporter that contracted to export five lakh tonnes of wheat to India routed through its offical canalising agency, State Trade Corporation(STC), came to India to contest the veracity of the Chennai lab's report on pesticide presence.
To counter-check that lab's report, samples were sent to the Mysore's Central Food Lab which cleared the wheat stocks as having pesticide to a safe permissible level.
The shipment was contained 50,000 tonnes of wheat and the second shipment of wheat carrying 40,000 tonne was expected to arrive within a few days in Tuticorin port.
But Civil Society organisations including Forum for Biosecurity and Food Safety said the import of Australian wheat might bring some exotic weed to India as it contained nine such weeds which were hitherto known not existing in the country.
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