FDA rejected items including Shan foods still sold in Pakistan.

WASEEM ABBASI  fda-pictureThe United States US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has refused to allow 340 Pakistani products to be sold in the country, including 46 from a famous company spices’ company Shan Foods for containing poisonous substances, pesticides and other reasons during last one and half year, the official data obtained by this correspondent shows.

Shockingly most of these products are continuously being sold in Pakistan amid weak food regulations and poor implementation of existing laws by the authorities.

The official data of FDA shows a list of 85 Pakistani companies whose products have been refused by the reputed US body for sale in the United States. These products include packed spices, dried fruit, medical equipment, rice, jams, sauces and medicines.

Three famous Pakistani food companies Ahmed Foods, Mitchell’s Fruit Farms Limited and National Foods have made it to the list. One is famous for spices while other two manufacture jams, jellies and pickle. The list only contains the products refused from January 2014 to May 2015.

While contacted, an official of Shan Foods claimed the rejections are only a small part of its exports and the fact that there was no complaints against the company within Pakistan shows that its products are safe for consumption.

While some of the products have been refused for packaging rules violations so other have been refused on serious charges that may cause concerns for Pakistani consumers who are still buying these products within the country.

A spokesman of the Federal Ministry of Food says the issue does not fall under the purview of the Food Department and the Ministry of Industries is responsible for the safety of these products.

The shipment of Karachi-based spices’ company containing ginger root, garlic bulb in past was rejected for containing a dangerous pesticide chemical in these projects.

The company’s 46 shipments were refused by FDA. Its mixed spices were rejected for containing Salmonella, a poisonous and deleterious substance which may render it injurious to health.

One of the its spice product had been rejected last year for containing a tobacco product.Most of the food products from the other two companies were rejected for containing Salmonella.

While contacted by The News, the head of Quantity Assurance Department of the company Ahmad Waqar said the products being sold in Pakistan are safe. He said he was not aware of the reason for rejection of the company’s products by US FDA.

chart-food“Do you not use our spices in food? How come you have not fallen ill?” he asked. He said millions of Pakistanis are using spices and other products of the company and they are still enjoying a healthy life which shows the products are not bad for health.

As many as 39 herbal medical products of another Karachi based company Hemani International were rejected for failing to meet FDAstandards. Some of the items contain color addictive.

Around a dozen varieties of basmati rice from four different companies have also been banned in US for containing dangerous pesticides.

HERE IS THE FDA DATA FILE on Pakistan Import refusals for this period.




55 thoughts on “FDA rejected items including Shan foods still sold in Pakistan.

  1. How come that our government fails to address this serious issue of unfit products not from a few but good 85 companies including top brand companies. When as many as 340 products including 46 from one famous company Shan were rejected by FDA for sale in America ,why was this information withheld from consumers in Pakistan? Are we Guinea pigs? What about 46 shipments of the company rejected by FDA? Any action taken ?


    1. Nothing is safe unless you buy and cook from scratch. It doesn’t matter which companies Pakistani, Indian or any other reputable international company.
      If one really want to eat healthy then start eating what the caveman was eating.


    1. Its not that simple Waqas. Pakistan will not be destroyed with sanctions on Shan food. Secondly Pakistani people deserve to eat as healthy as US people do. SO many Pakistani exports are coming into US which is one of Pakistan’s largest export destinations. I am also user of Shan food.


      1. Mr Abbasi thanks for bringing these serious issues to Public. However, the question still remains, why Pakistani Govt still allows the useage of dangerous pesticide in our crops? that’s why in North America, we didn’t many choices of Pakistani Rice in the super markets, and Pakistani Mangoes also banned in USA, as our friends and relatives comes to Canada to taste therm here. This is a major problem, and to be addressed by Pakistani Govt for the sake of Pakistani’s health / well being either living in Pakistan or abroad.


    2. Are you kidding man. What nonsense America wants to destroy Pakistan. Pakistan is destroying itself by not prtocting its own citizens.


    3. This Named company has been using taste enhancer in their all packet spices which is bad for human consumption. Day by day people suffering from different health issues like headache heart, burning ,diabetic etc . anyway it’s not safe for human health…not at all.
      Heal yourself with healthy Food

      Liked by 1 person

  2. strange that there is no other story from any credible source or FDA on this…would have been better if the article referenced some well known credible sources directly.


    1. Am I not credible:-) Dear I am a qualified journalist..This report is result of my training on Investigative Journalism by a Missouri School of Journalism Professor Mark Hovit and the article refers to FDA with actual data file attached..Such reports are not press release journalism.It needs digging deep so you won’t see it everywhere..


      1. What about those unhealthy, carcinogenic, and hormone and chemical laced stuff + the GMOs that we people consume here In US every day? You might want to talk about those too. It’s all about profits and political games these days. No body cares about people health. So please do your investigation about that too.


      2. You are right but have you not seen stories on bad practices in US media? Journalists here are pointing out problems of their country. As a Pakistani journalist, I am more concerned about issues facing Pakistani people so I focus on stories of my interest. US food laws and implementation are much better than Pakistan there is little doubt that. Until recently did not even have a federal body to regulate food industry so shall we not call for improvement in the food that we consume? Have you not heard about donkey meat being sold in Lahore and rest of Punjab? So we have to strive for a better Pakistan.


      3. Waseem why your story is not published in any other newspaper or magazine?considering you are a reputable journalist.


      4. Do you in journalism corporate sector is the hardest target..please research on net HSBC scandal in UK and how journalists of very reputed papers were not allowed to publish anything against the bank..


      5. If you are an investigative journalist as you claim to be then you should be able to investigate that United States FDA policies for foreign firms are influenced by their foreign policies of that particular country. You talk about pesticides…. those pesticides may be banned in US but it is OK for US companies to sell them to third World Countries?

        India buys Pakistani Rice in bulk and repacks them in Dubai and then sells it in US and Europe under their own brand and all the second quality rice under the labels of Made in Pakistan. Your so called MUSLIM Brotherhood countries like UAE allow that to happen in their own country! Where is your investigative journalism for this subject?

        Granted Ahmed Foods is one of the main culprit companies in Pakistan who use to buy non-food color items to be used in their jams and jellies because they were 10 times cheaper but greatly carsoganics ( I am not sure if they still do because in mid eighties they were certainly doing it because I know first hand).

        If you compare the products of Indian Companies with Pakistani companies you will find many of them are far more inferior in quality than Pakistani products. Why I know because I have been importing in US from Pakistan since 1987 and before that I was part of a group for 10 years which was one of the largest exporter of products from pakistan to US.

        Mr. investigative journalist you need to do your homework properly before you start putting the livelihood of many reputable companies like Shan & Mitchells and Shezan etc.(I am not including Ahmed in reputable list) which also employ thousand of workers and small business from whom they buy services and packing materials and such for running their business.

        With regards to government officials in Pakistan you better not quote them at all. They are all worse than pigs and they will even sell their mothers if the price is right and there is no exception in it to the best of my knowledge. Anyone and everyone of them can be bought, you just have to pay the right price.


      6. So you want people to trust you because you wrote something in the blog? Doesn’t it make sense to have some kind of source to back your claims?


      7. Salmonella a bacteria responsible for dealt food poisoning. It’s presence in spice is due to contamination feces. Water quality is to blame mostly.

        There are recalls in North America periodically salmonella contamination. It’s no big deal.


      8. You my friend are no where close to Credible nor a qualified Journalist.
        Any person who:

        – Writes “Am I not credible” with a smile face.
        – Proceeds to call another individual “Dear”
        – Uses run on sentences and uses “…” to move on to another point
        – Don’t know the different of “I’m and I am”.
        – I think my 10 year old cousin has better Grammar

        I suggest you take some English courses because from a Pakistani American point of view your article couldn’t be more fraud than Asif Ali Zarfari himself. Good luck to you my friend.


      9. Thanks Mr Adnan Kazmi for taking time out of your busy productive life to point out typos.
        But really? You have issues with me smiling, calling other dear and committing typo errors? and do you really believe, owing to these things, I am “as fraud as Zardari”?. Good for you. And I like your romance for English and good luck for your 10-year-old I hope he is learning manners too from some good teacher outside the home.
        Given your love for English, I hope you are not one of the collaborator families who helped colonial forces take over India just because they were speaking “English”. This slave mentality should end. According to you, one who does not know English is corrupt. What a great logic. You know I may not have better English than your 10-year-old but I can proudly claim that I am not fraud and I did this story as social service to inform people about health hazards of some food products. I hope you have something better in life than finding typos from a blog and ridiculing people for their “poor” English. Finally, I am not Pakistani-American for your kind information. I am Pakistani-Pakistani. While I have great regard for this country for contributing in my education and training, I wont ditch my country like many of so-called enforcers of English.


  3. Many US products contain high levels of Carcinogen in children’s juices and many other products.. Mac and cheese from certain companies is banned around the world but the USA. So the governments and FDAhelps who lobbys for them. This doesn’t meant that Pakistan sucks and US takes cares of its people by FDA protecting us. All of the governments are there to make a profit!


    1. Whatever it means it shows there is something wrong and reputed companies like Shan should fix it..I know US also has many problems but food regulations are quite stringent here and even if there are some substandard food selling journalists here are writing about them too..so why a Pakistani journalist should not write about problems in Pakistan. Whole purpose is too strive for improvements..


  4. Farmers either through their ignorance or negligence use pesticides meant exclusively for non food crops freely on Wheat, Rice, Sugar Cane and other food crops. Our canals and rivers whose water is used for irrigation in agriculture are all contaminated with raw, untreated sewage. Many, if not all, big factories are freely discharging toxic chemicals into ground water and into our water-ways.
    One can only grin and bear it, the alternative is to emigrate or claim refugee status from poisoning.
    Issues like these and like healthcare where a majority of Pakistani children die before the age of five, are way down our national priorities. We need more army divisions, more nukes and faster missiles for them which is why we can only afford to spend very little on food and health.


  5. Waseemabbasiblog aspirations for high standards in journalism is to be commended. As is an attempt at transparency by attaching his ‘investigative’ data to this piece.
    But it is not a successful attempt. The source of the data has not been adequately cited. Nor is the data complete. For instance, where are the dates for these refusal charges.
    I looked up the FDA website, and the most recent refusal charge for Shan Foods of Pakistan was from 2013 (https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cms_ia/importalert_263.html). Also, as can be seen from this link, practically every country is on this list. Also, substantial numbers of companies from EU, Canada, and Australia have also been issued refusal charges. Pakistan is hardly alone here.
    I live in Canada and use Shan foods regularly. As do every single one of my friends, Pakistani or not. It is widely available in Superstores, one of the largest chains in Canada.
    Recently, Lipton and every other loose tea brand were blocked from import because of contamination (except Red Rose), but Shan Foods is everywhere.
    If Shan Foods does get blocked from import, I am confident the good people at Shan will be able to resolve the problem. As for contamination, it is quite common even in foods produced here in North America. The US and Canada will often block foods from being imported from each other on a regular basis.
    As for your data-set, it compromises of 3 charges for Shan Foods; 1) Salmonella contamination; 2) Chemical Pesticide; 3) Not labeling a possible allergen. Anyone living in North America will be very familiar with all three, as they are fairly common problems with foods here.
    Perhaps you should be wary of the hyperbole in US journalism. If you study journalism in the US, try not to learn the hyperbole.


  6. I like your comment a lot for several reasons..Its logical and data based. But I assure you the data is 100% authentic..I agree there are many countries listed in same data but don’t you think every journalist focuses on his own country? This is normal whenever we have international report or data we look for our country and relay that to our audience because this is what they want to know. Regarding Shan, I am a big fan myself of their Biryani masala and almost every week I eat but there is nothing wrong in pointing out flaws and asking for improvement from your favourite company..Do you remember Toyota Recall or Samsung recall of Note7..These things improve their credibility.


    1. add volkswagon cars….Sir. a waseem sb you have done your part by bringing the problems for pakistani consumers in America. People should appreciate your effort, otherwise unko bhar mei jane dei, marne dei…ungrateful people. you have done your part. May Allah bless you.


  7. There shuld be strict implementation of consumers rights in Pakistan, ,,this is the only thing we demand right now……i try to find organic food but even being the citizen of an agriculture country its the hardest thing on earth to get this in main cities,,,,moreover being a doctor i try my best to give good quality food to my kids but even then my child recently suffered from typhoid (salmonella infection ) for which i had been unable to find the source,,but now after your report i can add this source to my list…….its a miserable and helpless state for us…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Do you have any official document from FDA for the prove of your blog, or its just your mind creation. Don’t ask me to see the xls sheet, need some kind of official document.


  9. Waseem Sahab

    Being an importer of Pakistani products in US, I know for a fact that these companies have really worked hard to ensure there presence in global market. They have made a lot progress in using quality ingredients. They are working relentlessly to ensure their product passes FDA standards.

    You must understand that many spices and grains are imported in Pakistan. Biggest problem these companies face is the procurement of quality ingredients to manufacture their products.

    I would like you do some investigation on how hard it is for them to produce quality product. You must also bring to light the importers of B quality ingredients as well as traders who deceive these manufacturers by supplying inferior products.

    I think your report is unjust and needs more investigation. Just looking at brands listed on FDA report and making a report is really unfair.

    If you want i can share some examples of FDA rejections that I personally handled and manufacturer was not be blamed.

    One thing is for sure that there are no strict regulations in Pakistan. And blaming only brand names that are doing a great service to this country is ridiculous and in my opinion a lot more investigation was needed.



  10. Just because stupid FDA said something all western slaves accepted it as GOD’S word. These idiots are feeding meat scraps from all animals in public school as lunch for 100 years and not able to fix that, all genetically modified food with growth hormones and God knows what to their own middle class and poor population. No need to panic and listen to all their crap.


  11. Suddenly every thing from Pakistan is bad… Is it Indian propaganda attack…??? If you watch Indian media this is just possible. What about Canada, UK and Australia why they did not find anything wrong??? Pakistan Govt. should set strict standard for exports.


    1. Dear Hafeez

      This is not an attack of any sort. if you go to FDA website and see the list of refusals, you will notice that India has probably 3 or 4 times more refusals than Pakistan.

      Waseem is mentioning data for 1 and a half year but you can access data on FDA website all the way from 2001.

      here is the link


      I believe this story lacks substance.

      I will give you an example. If you look at the FDA rejection list, you will see large number of instances where Basmati Rice has been rejected. FDA recently changed their guidelines on Pesticides residue on imported rice. Pakistan and India have been exporting rice to US for ages. All of a sudden you see so many rejections just because of changes in guidelines. Pakistani and Indian exporters have overcome this issue. It takes time for farmers and exporters to bring product into compliance.

      I believe Mr. Waseem did not conduct his investigation from all angles. I am not very impressed by his investigative skills.

      Also Shan does not have 46 items on refusal. There are about 8 to 10 items on import alert. 46 is the number of instances where product entered US and was refused.

      I have no business relation with Shan. They are my competitors, however, it is a well reputed Pakistani Company and does not deserve to be treated like that.



      1. Thanks for confirming for so many of our readers that the story is actually based on FDA data. You have a good point that Shan is reputed company and does deserve respect but don’t we think we user also deserve to eat healthy. May be its 8 to 10 items which are on import alert which means they contain dangerous substance so do we Pakistanis deserve to eat what American don’t want to eat. With repute comes the responsibility. So where is corporate responsibility on part of Shan.I have contacted Shah representative and he is quoted in story but he refused to open up and share any details.


  12. Awarness shared by Waseem us blessing, we should improve our understanding of the issues in this complex world of business and politics.
    Our rice is sold by Indians when we are cheap or surplus, now a days, Pakistani exporter are supplying Indian rice to their buyers since it’s cheaper. No harm in such business. Iran had banned Indian Long Grain so called Basmati in the past since it was GMA and causes Brain Tumor…, we are also promoting it’s production in our pure Basmati rice belt, no one is concerned in Our Food or Industries Deptt to stop this practice since this is minone of their concern!
    Today our Vanaspati Ghee Millers are on strike against the findings shared by Punjab Food Authority on their brands……. instead of clarifying their position they challenge the PFAs jurisdiction for their National Brands, what a fallacy! Are they not selling these brands in Punjab? How can they challenge the PFAs jurisdiction !
    Try not to hurt yourself in your jurisdiction, let Americans feed what they like and afford for poor school children. This is not our problem nor logical for us to pick in our favour!
    Try to save yourself from the knowledge shared by the concerned and responsible citizen.
    Let the companies come out to defend themselves with facts and reason.


  13. My confusion is why didnt you represented shan in the pie chart you presented in that article. I will also appreciate if you write specifically the name of products banned instead of vaguely blaming the whole brand/company. Otherwise all your effort will be in vain!


    1. Actually may be I am not good at making charts. Well You are right. Whole brand is not culprit. There are few products but FDA website just describe them as spices. So I can’t write without confirming. I contacted Shan officials and he is quoted in story but he refused to share any further information. Actually a big and reputed brand like Shan should make sure each of its product is safe for use and the company should be more transparent about any mishap.


  14. I agree, there is no ban on Shan in US, all indian and Pakistani store in California US at-least where I live must sell Shan Masala, has any one confirm it’s not available/ban in any state in US?


  15. FDA is a joke. They have no problems not banning all the fatal GMO products being sold in US but the most popular brand of Pakistani spices is threatening health. Sick of their double standards.
    Appreciate the article but please be informed that FDA is not as pious and efficient as you may think it is. A little Google search will better help understand their double standards. Policymakers in FDA have individual interests especially in their drug safety departments because the eventual judges belong to the pharmaceutical industry whose main agenda is to normalize drugs and make them appear safe for the general public instead of promoting natural health remedies and making them safer and only because their interest is in profits. Public interests are the last on their list to care about.


  16. Looks fake. In Australia, at every big grocery store, you can get Shan products. The article doesn’t have any single official website of FDA reference.


  17. Healthy Food is not a agenda of Pakistani Governments and Authorities and Sindh is its worst example now days only Punjab food Authority doing good efforts, most sweets and bakery items are not fit for human consumption


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