European Union’s food safety regulatory body issued 111 notifications related to pesticide residue on produce from India
The European Union (EU) may ban import of betel, curry leaves, lady's finger (okra), and chilli pepper due to the presence of pathogens and pesticide residues in the food items.
In its annual report released last week, EU food safety regulatory body Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) says that there have been repeated complaints of betel leaves being infected with pathogen salmonella and curry leaves and lady’s finger having pesticide residues. Cases of salmonella in betel leaves have gone up, particularly since 2011, says the report.
The total number of pathogen-related notifications issued by RASFF on fruit, vegetable, poultry and meat products from countries across the world in 2013 is 642—an all time high. The number is also 40 per cent more than what is was in 2012. The total number of pesticide-related notifications was 452 which is slightly more than previous year’s. Issuing notifications is the first step of the process which could lead to a ban.
“The continuous reports notified by the United Kingdom prompted the adoption of a safeguard measure suspending temporarily imports of paan (betel) leaves from Bangladesh and setting up of reinforced check for paan leaves from India and Thailand,” states the report.
The number of pesticide-related notifications on produces from India is 111. Of these, 12 are related to curry leaves and 84 to lady’s finger and five to chilli peppers. The pesticide reported in curry leaves is profenofos while lady’s finger has been found to have monocrotophos, acephate, acetamiprid and triazophos.
Question raised in Rajya Sabha, 05/02/2014: Higher pesticide residue levels in vegetables exported to Saudi Arabia
FAO Report: Pesticide residues in food 2013
European Commission Rules: Rules on pesticide residues in food
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