Pulses and lentils such as Moong and Masoor Dal are a quintessential element of the average Indian diet. It is a staple at every meal time and is a comfort food to many. This is the reason that FSSAI’s report that indicates harmful substances are present in the dal comes as a shock.
Herbicides Found in Imported Pulses
The Times of India reports that studies conducted by the food safety officials on Moong and Masoor dal show that pulses that are imported to India from countries like Canada and Australia contain high levels of harmful herbicides. A prominent chemical present in these pulses is Glyphosphate, which is a weed killer that is also used to kill insects and rodents.
An FSSAI official is reported by The Times of India to have said that the level of residue of Glyphosphate in the pulses could be poisonous to the consumers. ‘Since the maximum residue limits for Glyphosphate in pulses has not been specified in the FSSAI regulations, we have asked the concerned officials to follow the Canadian standards for the herbicide as specified in the Codex standards,’ he said. Read the government issued warning here.
Dangerously High Level of Toxins
The issue was brought to light when an activist raised concern regarding the quality of the lentils used in Indian households. It was soon found that the lentils had ‘an average 282 parts per billion and thousand parts per billion of glyphosphate, which is extremely high by any standards.’ It has passed through undetected since ‘India did not have any standard quality index for glyphosphate on its own,’ reports the Times of India.
Read more about it here.