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EU increases controls on Turkish lemons

For the current 2016/2017 marketing year starting in September, the lemons were included by the European Commission in Annex 1 of Regulation (EC) No 669/2009, considering that it was a product of risk due to the Presence of pesticide residues. This decision was supported by all Member States taking into account the detection during 2015 of 10 lots containing high residues of biphenyl, a substance banned in the EU. Account was also taken of reports from the EU Food and Veterinary Office confirming the serious shortcomings of the official control of plant protection products in Turkey.

During the months of September and October, the European Union has confirmed in the RASFF database 5 sanitary alerts of Turkish lemons, which were rejected at European border points. There are 1 case in Greece and 4 cases in Bulgaria, with detections of chlorpyrifos residues in concentrations higher than twice the maximum limit authorized by Community legislation.

As a result of the high number of cases detected, the European Commission has decided this week to change the import conditions for Turkish lemons and strengthen border controls by increasing the frequency of checks from the current 10% to 20%. In practice, this means that 2 out of 10 Turkish lemons will be inspected at the Community border. The new control system will take effect on January 1.

Rating of AILIMPO
From AILIMPO, the lemon and grapefruit interprofessional of Spain, it is emphasized that “this way it is officially confirmed the express recognition by the European Commission of the risk of Turkish lemons in relation to non-compliance with the Community rules on Pesticide residues “. On the other hand, the director of AILIMPO, José Antonio García, points out that “these 5 detections of Turkish lemons with residues of chlorpyrifos well above the Community MRL confirm the deficiencies in both the Turkish producer and exporter sector and in the official controls of Turkey , Which makes Turkish lemon an unreliable product.

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