The European Commission gives formal notice to 5 certification agencies in India
The European Commission (EC) has put five certification agencies in India on formal notice after finding traces of a chemical, above its allowable limit, and even in organic sesame seeds exported from the country.
In a draft notification published on October 5, the European Commission mentioned that CU Inspections India, Ecocert India, Indian Organic Certification Agency (Indocert), Lacon Quality Certifications and OneCert International should be removed from the list of approved agencies by India. . When this notification project becomes operational, not all organic products certified by these agencies in India may be accepted in Europe.
This draft has not yet been adopted or approved by the Commission as these are its preliminary views and cannot be considered as an official position of the EC.
A large number of lots of thousands of tonnes of allegedly organic sesame seeds contaminated with ethylene oxide (ETO) have been imported from India since October 2020, he said in the notification. India’s exports of sesame seeds (including organic) to the EU fell 47% to $ 71 million (531 crore rupees) in FY 21. In volume, the drop is 38% at 43,835 tons.
There were around 90 incidents of rejection of a batch of sesame seeds due to detection of ETO, which were also captured in the EU’s internal organic farming information system (OFIS) , said industry experts. ETO is carcinogenic to humans and contamination levels varied depending on the shipment.
Meanwhile, the US-based IOAS Accreditation Committee has revoked OneCert International’s accreditation for organic textiles. The agency has given the Indian certification company time until November 5 to appeal its decision and notify by October 22 if it wishes to appeal.
“The proposed action could further strengthen India’s organic program. The export of organic products will not face any problem as we have 28 certification agencies. India needs to reinvent its organic brand and rejuvenate this sector through policy innovation, ”said S Chandrasekaran, Trade Policy Analyst.
India’s total organic exports amounted to 8.88 lakh ton valued at $ 1.04 billion in FY21.