Ailimpo warned recently about the rejection at EU borders of 10 batches of Turkish lemons due to the presence of pesticides in quantities exceeding the official EU limits. "This is an unprecedented situation that confirmed the shortcomings of Turkey's official control on the marketing and use of plant protection products," said the interprofessional, which asked the European Commission to take urgent measures.
The European Commission has reacted quickly and has published a regulation (Regulation 2021/1900) by which it is decided to increase the official control of Turkish lemons to 20% (previously, only random checks were made without a minimum percentage). Therefore, 1 in 5 trucks of Turkish lemons entering the EU will have to be subjected to strict border controls for pesticide analysis. This measure will come into force on November 23.
The European Commission itself confirmed the severity of the situation, and said that: "In the case of lemon batches from Turkey, data resulting from RASFF notifications and information from official controls carried out by Member States indicate the emergence of new risks to human health, due to possible contamination by pesticide residues. Therefore, a higher level of official controls will be required."
The Spanish lemon and grapefruit interprofessional organization, Ailimpo, has expressed its satisfaction with the quick decision taken by the European Commission. "Undoubtedly, this is an important step to defend the interests of European consumers and to strengthen the position of Spanish lemons, which are produced under the highest standards."