Egyptian Agricultural Export Council imposes inspection of all containers of Egyptian citrus to EU until end of season

Following the decision of the European Union to increase the inspection samples of Egyptian citrus from 20% to 30%, due to the detection of chlorpyrifos ethy1 in citrus shipments from Egypt, Egyptian exporters met urgently to address the situation.

Muhammed Shaker, one of the citrus grower-exporters who participated in the meeting, said, "The use of this pesticide is prohibited in citrus in Egypt. Following its detection in shipments of Egyptian origin, the Agricultural Export Council urgently summoned a meeting on May 18th to take prompt action in order to protect Egyptian and foreign consumers."

Shaker continues, "The incident was extensively discussed with the participation of producers, exporters, and members of parliament. Strict regulations are already in place to prevent the use of chlorpyrifos ethy1 but it is sometimes used indirectly. This goes against our production methods and puts into doubt the professionalism and reputation of the Egyptian exporters."

According to the producer, the Agricultural Export Council has implemented urgent and radical decisions to avoid the recurrence of such an incident. He stated, "In a voluntary way, and before any directive from the Egyptian government or the European Union, we have decided to implement a compulsory inspection of every single citrus container departing from Egypt to the European Union until the end of the season, to ensure the absence of any trace of prohibited substances."

Shaker concludes, "This is a measure for the immediate term to contain this problem and reassure our markets. The decision is transmitted to the governmental health authorities and dispatched to all packing houses and agricultural audit engineers, and enforced immediately. More comprehensive and integrated measures will follow, in collaboration with the agricultural authorities, to ensure all producers and exporters respect Egypt's status as a major source of food in the world, and all the responsibilities and trust values that this status encompasses."

Muhammad Shaker
Tel: +20 102 562 2070

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