EU farmers want S.Africa fruit imports suspended due to disease

September 12, 2013
A European farmers' union called for the suspension of South African citrus fruit imports Thursday in fear they may spread highly contagious "Black Spot" disease.

A European farmers' union called for the suspension of South African citrus fruit imports Thursday in fear they may spread highly contagious "Black Spot" disease.

Copa-Cogeca, which groups large farms and agricultural cooperatives, said five cargo loads of produce from South Africa contaminated with Black Spot had been detected at the borders.

"The sector is vital in Europe both from an economic and social point of view. The disease currently does not exist in the EU," said Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen.

A spokesman for the European Commission, Frederic Vincent, said the request would be examined by experts at the end of the month.

He added that the Commission had "encouraged" South Africa "to improve its controls" and said the European Union executive favoured "measures being put in place proactively".

Copa-Cogeca's Pesonen said South African authorities had been asked repeatedly to put in place measures to prevent the spread of the disease to Europe after the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) warned of the of contamination.

But after Black Spot was found at the borders of Britain, Germany and the Netherlands he wrote to the Commission "urging them to suspend imports to the EU immediately until the disease has been eradicated.

"We cannot wait until the next impact assessment to take action. We need to protect the EU sector against the introduction of Black Spot disease as no currently exist."

Explore further: EU tightens control of Chinese rice over GM fears

Related Stories

EU tightens control of Chinese rice over GM fears

November 15, 2011

The European Union has tightened controls on imports of Chinese rice products after a growing number of shipments were contaminated by unauthorised genetically-modified rice, the EU said Tuesday.

EU hints at insecticide ban over threat to bees

January 16, 2013

The European Commission hinted on Wednesday that it could ban several insecticides, some made by German chemicals giant Bayer, after scientists found disturbing evidence of harm to bees.

EU stops short of insecticide ban

January 28, 2013

The European Commission said Monday it would draw up "stringent" measures to protect bees from dangers attributed to certain pesticides, but pulled back from an anticipated ban.

EU plans new bid to protect bees

March 19, 2013

The European Commission said Tuesday it will try again to get member states to back a two-year ban on insecticides harmful to bees whose numbers have been in sharp and worrying decline.

Recommended for you

Researchers design first artificial ribosome

July 29, 2015

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University have engineered a tethered ribosome that works nearly as well as the authentic cellular component, or organelle, that produces all the proteins ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.