Australia's food safety agency said today that it was weighing accusations of contamination about some spices sold by two Indian companies to ascertain if a recall was required after similar decisions from the Maldives, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

The Maldivian Food and Drug Authority issued a statement earlier this week banning the import, sale, and use of Indian spice brands Everest and MDH in the country after reports emerged that the spice brands contain cancer-causing chemicals.

MFDA cited similar advisories by the Singapore Food Agency and Hong Kong Center for Food Safety urging citizens not to use these brands and to remove them from shelves as they contain ethylene oxide.

It said that though ethylene oxide is a chemical used to fumigate agricultural products, it is not recommended for food items.

MFDA noted that these brands of spices are frequently imported into the Maldives and that the Authority is working to understand the risks of these products.

But for now, MFDA banned the import, sale, and use of several products from these brands. These include Madras Curry Powder from MDH, Sambar Masala Mixed Masala powder from the same brand, and curry powder mixed masala powder from MDH. MFDA has also banned the fish curry masala from Everest in its statement.

Earlier this month, Hong Kong and Singapore banned the sale of MDH and Everest, claiming that they detected the presence of carcinogenic pesticide ethylene oxide in several spice mixes. Hong Kong's Center for Food Safety (CFS) asked consumers not to buy and traders not to sell MDH's Madras Curry Powder (spice blend for Madras curry), Everest Fish Curry Masala, MDH Sambhar Masala Mixed Masala Powder, and MDH Curry Powder Mixed Masala Powder.