Source: Greek City Times
According to the Association of Greek Fruit, Vegetable, and Juice Exporters and Traders (INCOFRUIT-HELLAS), over one-third (35.3%) of fruit and vegetable shipments imported from Turkey to the European Union (EU) were found to contain excessive pesticide levels, as reported by the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF).
During the first half of 2023, RASFF received a total of 272 alerts concerning the presence of high pesticide levels in fruits and vegetables reaching EU member states, originating from both third countries and within the EU.
Peppers from Turkey accounted for the highest number of cases, with a total of 41 instances of excessive pesticide levels detected. Following closely were lemons with 28 cases, tangerines with ten cases, and tomatoes with six cases. Other alerts were distributed among various other fruit and vegetable products.
Egypt ranked second after Turkey, with a total of 42 notifications, of which 30 were related to oranges and three to peppers. The remaining alerts pertained to different fruits and vegetables.
Additionally, the alerts included 18 notifications for produce from India, 15 from Kenya, 13 from Sri Lanka, 7 each from China and Vietnam, 6 from Bangladesh, and 5 from Madagascar.
Furthermore, notifications were received from a total of 32 countries whose fruit and vegetable shipments were sold in EU markets. Bulgaria recorded the highest number of rejections for fruit and vegetable cargo from Turkey among EU member states.
It is important to note that based on ELSTAT data, in the first five months of 2023, Greece imported 7,326 tons of fruits and vegetables from Turkey. This included 1,100 tons of zucchini, 952 tons of peppers and sweet peppers, 253 tons of tomatoes, and 52 tons of lemons.