FSSAI emphasises on adoption of bio-pesticides to ensure quality in tea production

Planters raised concerns about the use of unauthorised pesticides in tea cultivation and urged the state government to impose a ban.


Published Jan 19, 2024 | 7:39 PMUpdatedJan 19, 2024 | 7:39 PM


Food regulator FSSAI CEO G Kamala Vardhana Rao on Friday, 19 January, stressed on adoption of bio-pesticides to ensure the safety and quality of tea production.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) CEO Rao addressed a gathering of tea growers and tea planters during an interactive session held on Friday in Kellyden, Assam.

The event saw active participation from key stakeholders, including officials from FSSAI, the Tea Board, Tea Research Institute, tea planters, tea processors, industry associations and the Food and Drug Department of the state, the regulator said in a statement.

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The discussions

The focal point of the discussion was enhancing traceability and testing measures for raw materials, emphasising the need for screening every batch for pesticide residues and adherence to Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) of pesticides usage as prescribed in the Food Safety and Standards Regulations of 2011 (FSSR).

“Rao emphasised the importance of adopting bio-pesticides and encouraged collaboration with the Tea Board for joint inspection, sampling and testing processes,” the statement said.

During the session, the Tea Board stressed the significance of awareness campaigns among planters to educate them about the maintenance of a harvesting gap to ensure safe agricultural practices.

Planters raised concerns about the use of unauthorised pesticides in tea cultivation and urged the state government to impose a ban on such substances.

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Advocates for the provision of rapid testing kits

Processors advocated for the provision of rapid testing kits at the farm gate level to streamline pesticide testing.

Scientific panel members engaged in detailed deliberations on specific pesticides, monitoring procedures and the prevention of off-label use.

FSSAI is extending financial assistance to Assam for the upgrading of laboratories dedicated to pesticide testing.

“The need for regular interaction with all stakeholders and the formulation of a time-bound action plan to guarantee the availability of safe tea to consumers was also stressed upon during the meeting,” the statement said.

The event also featured key speakers such as Amardeep Singh Bhatia, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce & Industry and Chairman of the Tea Board; Saurav Pahari, IAS, Deputy Chairman, Tea Board, Kolkata; Inoshi Sharma, Executive Director, FSSAI and other senior officials from FSSAI, scientific panel members and representatives from various industry associations.

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