EC Revises Guar Gum Import ControlsEC Revises Guar Gum Import Controls
April 14, 2010
LONDONThe European Commission (EC) has revised its import control measures for guar gum imported from India, following a 2007 incident in which dioxin contamination was discovered in Indian guar gum. Although there was no immediate risk to health, large numbers of food products, including yogurts and fruit drinks, were withdrawn from sale all over Europe.
The high dioxin levels were linked to contamination of the guar gum with pentachlorophenol (PCP), a fungicide banned from use in food and feed. In October 2007, inspectors from the European Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) visited India to investigate the source of the contamination and discovered a number of possible causes and made recommendations for improvements to the Indian authorities. A further visit by FVO inspectors in October 2009 found that this issue is ongoing, as these improvements will take time to bring in.
Although there has been no further contamination, in order to prevent a repeat of the 2007 incident, the commission decided that all consignments of guar gum imported into Europe from India should be subject to controls to ensure the absence of PCP.
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