As reported by the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), Italy has rejected the import of oranges from Uruguay because they contained traces of a pesticide that is prohibited for use in horticultural crops. The pesticide is harmful to human health and can produce death due to respiratory failure.
The pesticide found in Uruguayan oranges is Fention, in a proportion of 0.1 mg/kg. Since it is an unauthorized substance, its Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) is set at the minimum detectable in the laboratory, 0.01 mg/kg, which means the batch exceeded the MRL by 10 times.
The RASFF has described this case as serious.
Fenthion is severely restricted because it is harmful to human health and the environment. It may cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, urinary and fecal incontinence, bronchial hypersecretion, broncho-spasm, sweating, tearing, sialorrhea, diarrhea, hypotension, bradycardia, and disturbances of atrioventricular conduction, muscle weakness and paralysis, tachycardia, arterial hypertension, myocardial hyper-excitability, arrhythmias, confusion, delirium, agitation, coma, seizures, and respiratory depression.
Death is caused by respiratory failure, in the first phase, or by peripheral respiratory paralysis or central depression in the second phase. Other causes of death are of cardiovascular origin.