Excessive levels of pesticides have been found in imported Indian cumin seed, causing local health authorities to order a recall Wednesday, according to Yonhap News.
The Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) said it found profenofos in cumin seed, which is used to make curry powder.
Profenofos is a relatively mild pesticide used to kill mites in farm products like potatoes, peppers and cabbages.
"We received overseas information that higher-than-permitted levels of pesticide were detected in Indian cumin seeds and started our own investigations," a KFDA official said. He said of the five companies that imported the spice, four were found to have imported products that failed to meet safety guidelines.
"Of the 15,822kg of seeds checked, we found pesticide levels that were eight to 20 times higher than the maximum 0.05 parts per million permitted in the country," the expert said.