Import of chillies banned
The Bhutan Agriculture & Food Regulatory Authority under the Ministry of Agriculture & Forests has been carrying out regular surveillance of pesticide contents in fruits & vegetables through the use of field test kits & laboratory testing to ensure food safety in Bhutan.
Following the positive test result confirmed through laboratory testing for one variety of imported chilli during the month of May 2016, all varieties of imported chillies that were available in the market were screened for pesticide residues. Three imported chillies namely Hybrid, Terasani & Akashi were sent to Export Inspection Agency laboratory, India for testing. The samples were tested against the four major groups of pesticides.
As per the Laboratory report, all three imported chilli varieties showed the presence of 4-Bromo-2Cholorophenol, a pesticide belonging to organochor- ine Group. According to the WHO Classification of Pesticides, 4-Bromo-2Cholorophenol is considered to be moderately toxic (WHO Class II) and its use is not permitted in Bhutan.
Therefore, the Bhutan Agriculture & Food Regulatory Authority under the Ministry of Agriculture & Forests had notified the general public that a temporary ban on all imported chillies is being put in place with immediate effect.
The regulatory and quarantine inspectors of BAFRA in all the 20 Dzongkhags will strictly monitor the implement of this temporary ban.
The ban is in the interest of public health & safety and therefore all concerned are requested to give their full cooperation in implementing this ban.