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

Sep 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: How can we avoid kelp beds turning into barren grounds?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EU stops short of insecticide ban

Jan 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 tightens control of Chinese rice over GM fears

Nov 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 plans new bid to protect bees

Mar 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.

EU hints at insecticide ban over threat to bees

Jan 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.

Recommended for you

How can we avoid kelp beds turning into barren grounds?

4 hours ago

Urchins are marine invertebrates that mould the biological richness of marine grounds. However, an excessive proliferation of urchins may also have severe ecological consequences on marine grounds as they ...

User comments : 0

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.