Not practical, risk of contamination: BIS pull the plug on latex grading

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Representative Image | Photo: PTI

Kottayam: The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has decided not to go ahead with the grading of latex. On November 30, the Rubber Board’s research wing submitted a report to BIS and the ministry of commerce citing that the grading of latex is not practical. Following this, BIS decided to drop the grading of latex.

The decision is deemed unfavourable for entities interested in importing latex from other countries. It was in 2017 that the Prime Minister’s Office intimated BIS to deliberate on grading the latex for imports. The move was in wake of the appeal raised by prominent players in the field. BIS had assigned the research wing of the Rubber Board to conduct a study. Rubber Board submitted the report after a four-year-long study.

The major findings of Rubber Board are as follows:

1. Preservation of latex for long period will deteriorate the quality of the rubber. Similarly, grading will not be practical as the presence of rubber varies in preserved conditions.

2. The place where latex has to be preserved is subjected to the risk of contamination from pests and viruses. Imports of wet and fluid-based products increase the probability of invasive species.

Interestingly, the idea of grading and imports was opposed by the United Planters' Association of Southern India, Rubber Board, Latex Processors Association and many other rubber producers’ associations. Hence, the decision of BIS has considered is favourable to them.

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