`India Blocks European Olive Oil After EU Bans its Mangoes, MEP Claims

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India Blocks European Olive Oil After EU Bans its Mangoes, MEP Claims

Aug. 4, 2014
Julie Butler

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India has blocked arrivals of Euro­pean foods includ­ing olive oil after the Euro­pean Union banned imports of some man­goes from India, Ital­ian politi­cian Mara Biz­zotto claims.

Mara Biz­zotto

India is apply­ing a tough trade pro­tec­tion mea­sure and is boy­cotting cer­tain Euro­pean food prod­ucts,” the Mem­ber of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment said in a writ­ten ques­tion to the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion dated July 24.

In Mum­bai alone, to give but one exam­ple, 35 con­tain­ers full of Ital­ian and Span­ish olive oil and hun­dreds of bot­tles of wine have, for two whole months, been crammed into ware­houses that are not suit­able for pre­serv­ing the prod­ucts, which by now will have almost cer­tainly per­ished,” she said.

This restric­tive inter­pre­ta­tion of cus­toms reg­u­la­tions by the Indian author­i­ties, to the detri­ment of Euro­pean prod­ucts, was adopted after the EU halted and then banned imports of the Alphonso vari­ety of mango.”

Biz­zotto said Indian author­i­ties are now enforc­ing more strin­gently their rules on food fraud and labelling. Indian Cus­toms have there­fore seized, and blocked in their ports, tonnes of food and alco­hol from Europe because their labels do not indi­cate the pre­cise con­tent of salt, as pre­scribed by Indian health leg­is­la­tion.”

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Biz­zotto went on to ask what the Com­mis­sion will do to resolve the sit­u­a­tion and pro­tect free com­pe­ti­tion” and if it will pro­vide finan­cial assis­tance to Euro­pean pro­duc­ers who have suf­fered dam­age.”

Accord­ing to the Hindu Busi­ness Line, the EU imposed a ban on import of man­goes, bit­ter gourd, taro, egg­plant and snake gourd from India in May after pests were detected in some con­sign­ments. India sees the ban as unjus­ti­fied as it has applied strin­gent pack­ag­ing and inspec­tion pro­to­cols to pre­vent con­t­a­m­i­na­tion.

The pub­li­ca­tion said a team of EU qual­ity inspec­tors will visit India’s pack­ag­ing facil­i­ties next month, after which the ban is expected to be lifted if they find mea­sures to be ade­quate.


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