Jakarta. The European Union has banned imports of nutmeg from Indonesia after it was discovered the spice exceeded the safety limits for aflatoxin, a natural toxin produced by certain species of fungi which can cause liver failure.
Indonesia’s nutmeg contains 200 part per billion aflatoxin, far exceeding EU’s required limit of 15 ppb.
“Our supply of nutmeg has been rejected on several occasions, especially by Brussels [Belgium], said Banun Harpini, head of the agricultural quarantine body at the Agriculture Ministry.
Indonesian farmers still employ a method of cultivating nutmeg using higher water content, allowing the toxic fungi to grow, according to the ministry.
The central government has called on regional officials to take immediate measures in improving the quality of Indonesia’s nutmeg exports.