"The Alphonso and four other vegetables — eggplant, the taro plant, bitter gourd and snake gourd - were slapped a temporary ban, citing the presence of pests such as fruit flies in them. "
New Delhi, June 26 - How does one mention the ingredients of wine – fermented grapes with some sugar, asked a European Union official terming as absurd the Indian demand that the ingredients of liquor be mentioned on the label, which has resulted in consignments of different wines and Scotch being held up at airports in India.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has asked bottlers to disclose the ingredients used in a drink, a new Indian rule that is being viewed as a tit-for-tat measure after the EU blocked the import of Indian Alphonso mangoes and some other vegetables over concern they violated the stringent hygiene standards.

The demand that wine makers label the ingredients of the bottle is simply absurd... What are you expected to write – some crushed and fermented grapes, some sugar? There is no other secret ingredient added, said a European source who admitted that large quantities of their famed wines have been held up.

What was more upsetting, said the source, is that India charges a 400 percent levy on European liquor in India.

A bottle of wine that you would get for 10 euro will cost 40 euro in India. In Europe we would not buy a bottle of wine that expensive, the source added.

But was it linked to the banning of the famed Alphonso mangoes, termed the King of Fruits, in the European market?

I don't think so, the source said, adding that the EU was concerned over the presence of pests in the mangoes.

The Alphonso and four other vegetables — eggplant, the taro plant, bitter gourd and snake gourd - were slapped a temporary ban, citing the presence of pests such as fruit flies in them.

The EU ban on Alphonso mangoes, while it led to losses for the mango growers and exporters, was a boon for Indians as the premium fruit was freely available in Indian markets, which was earlier unthinkable.


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