Shlomi Fogel, chairman of Carmel Agrexco

Israeli CEO wants imported blueberries treated with methyl bromide to be labelled

Shlomi Fogel is the chairman of Carmel Agrexco, an agricultural export company that operates a Golan Heights blueberry farm. On Monday, he addressed the ministers of Health and Agriculture in a letter, after reports that imported blueberries are being treated with methyl bromide. Fogel demanded that imported blueberries be labeled accordingly, so that consumers are aware about the chemical treatment.

According to Fogel, the use of methyl bromide is forbidden in the country, and Israeli-grown blueberries are not treated with it. The importers claim the blueberries do not have traces of pesticides on them when they are sold. The Health Ministry demands that the blueberries be treated with the chemical in order to be imported, after which the chemical evaporates off of the berries.

"We are in favor of competition in the market," said Fogel. "But we were surprised to find that a condition of receiving a license to import blueberries to Israel is that the fruit arrive after being treated with methyl bromide, which as you know is a chemical that is forbidden for use in Israel," Fogel went on to say.

According to¸ Fogel also questioned the different standards for Israeli and foreign blueberry farmers.

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