` Europe to Push U.S. for Solution on Olive Oil Pesticide Limits - Olive Oil Times

Europe to Push U.S. for Solution on Olive Oil Pesticide Limits

May. 28, 2013
Julie Butler

Recent News

The need for max­i­mum pes­ti­cide residue lev­els for olive oil imports into the United States will be raised dur­ing transat­lantic free trade agree­ment talks in September, accord­ing to Italian Member of the European Parliament Sergio Silvestris.

Silvestris had called for this back in March when he told the Parliament that 98 con­tain­ers of Italian extra vir­gin olive oil were at the time detained in the ports of New York and Seattle over con­cerns about traces of the pes­ti­cide chlorpyrifos-ethyl.

Silvestris’s spokes­woman told Olive Oil Times this week that 60 of the con­tain­ers were later cleared for entry into the U.S. but the rest had to be reshipped to other countries.

E.U. Commissioners pledge support

Quality matters.
Find the world's best olive oils near you.

She said Silvestris had met this week with European Commissioner for for Health and Consumer Affairs Tonio Borg, who had promised to try to find a solu­tion in the con­text of the bilat­eral talks in September.

European Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht has also promised his sup­port for any sub­mis­sion for the approval of the sub­stance in olive oil or any peti­tion for the estab­lish­ment of an import tol­er­ance to the US authorities.”

In response to a writ­ten ques­tion in Parliament by Silvestris, de Gucht said that although the pes­ti­cide chlor­pyri­fos-ethyl was widely used in the U.S. and a max­i­mum residue limit (MRL) had been estab­lished for other prod­ucts, none had been set there for olive oil.

As a result, any trace of the sub­stance in olive oil being imported into the US leads to the refusal of the ship­ment,” he said.

According to Silvestris, for sev­eral years Italian exporters extra vir­gin olive oil have been hav­ing con­sid­er­able dif­fi­culty” import­ing into the U.S. because of residues — although min­i­mal — of chlor­pyri­fos-ethyl, a pes­ti­cide whose use is autho­rised in Italy and Europe in olive cultivation.”

Wine exports also affected

Problems with exports of European wine to the U.S. were the sub­ject of a sim­i­lar ques­tion to the Parliament last month which also reported an increase in prob­lems with pes­ti­cide con­trols on imports into the U.S.

A prime exam­ple is pen­cona­zole, which is approved for use on grapes in the E.U. but is an unreg­is­tered pes­ti­cide in the U.S.,” a group of par­lia­men­tar­i­ans led by Italy’s Herbert Dorfmann wrote.

Products with trace amounts of these sub­stances are rejected by U.S. Customs because of the exist­ing zero-tol­er­ance prin­ci­ple, even though there is no health risk to the con­sumer,” they said.

They called for an effec­tive solu­tion to be sought in the com­ing nego­ti­a­tions, such as part of the san­i­tary and phy­tosan­i­tary stan­dards chap­ter of the pos­si­ble free trade deal.



Related News

Feedback / Suggestions