Source: European Parliament
In a recent study, ‘Unió de Llauradors’, a Valencian farmers’ association, warned that more than 50 active substances used in plant protection products that are banned in the EU are being used in citrus fruit production in South Africa. These include: paraquat, a herbicide; azinphos-methyl, an insecticide; and carbendazim, a fungicide.
It should be borne in mind that these substances are allegedly being used in food products that are directly consumed by EU citizens. What is more, use of the substances is giving rise to unfair competition in allowing South African farmers to produce citrus fruit more cheaply than their European counterparts can.
1. In this context, have EU authorities found unauthorised plant protection products coming into the Union on imports from third countries?
2. If so, what action can the EU take? Would the EU consider suspending imports of citrus fruit from those countries if it is found that banned substances have been used?
3. Farmers from Valencia have proposed that imports of citrus and other fruit should be labelled to show all the plant protection products that have been used to treat the fruit throughout the production process. What is the EU’s assessment of this proposal?