Costa Rican banana producers are worried that the European Union could change its regulation on the maximum residue limits (MRLs) that the products exported to that region may contain. The eventual changes in regulations could lead to the loss of pesticide registrations, the National Banana Corporation (Corbana) warned.
"The European Union maximum residue limits are based on import tolerance and, in principle, they shouldn't change if their use has been proven to be safe for consumers; however, at this time we are not sure that Europe respects the legal framework it has established," stated Silvia Bechara, a representative of BASF, in a virtual conference organized by Corbana in which the EU's MRLs and legislation on pesticides were analyzed.
According to the corporation, 50% of Costa Rican banana production is destined for the EU. Unfortunately, despite the sector's efforts to minimize the use of agrochemicals, the microclimates of the tropics force producers to use them to combat the various diseases that attack this fruit.
Gloria Abraham Peralta, Costa Rica's ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and president of the Committee on Agriculture, said at the forum that they had already asked the EU to apply the maximum residue limits allowed, and that they had asked them to carry out a risk assessment of each specific substance and product, in accordance with the EU's multilateral obligations. "MRLs should be based on conclusive scientific evidence," she stated.