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Health alert for dangerous pesticide in oranges from Egypt destined for Spanish market
Food safety

Health alert for dangerous pesticide in oranges from Egypt destined for Spanish market

The EU's rapid alert for food safety system has certified the health risk as "serious" and issued the warning because of the potential risk to public health

C. Á.

Madrid

Thursday, 13 June 2024

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The EU's Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) has issued a new food alert after detecting high levels of a dangerous pesticide in oranges from Egypt destined for the Spanish market. As a result, authorities have stopped the goods at border control and issued a Europe-wide warning.

According to the notification, the oranges contained chlorpyrifos, a common agricultural insecticide, in concentrations above the legal limits. The European agency has certified the health risk as "serious" and has reported the incident because of the potential risk to public health.

Analyses by the European body revealed a chlorpyrifos concentration of 0.086 mg/kg-ppm, significantly exceeding the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) set at 0.01 mg/kg-ppm.

Chlorpyrifos is a type of organophosphate insecticide widely used in agriculture to control a variety of pests in crops such as corn, soybeans and citrus, among others. Despite its efficacy, the use of chlorpyrifos has generated controversy due to its potential adverse effects on human health and the environment.

Because of these risks, the European Commission banned the use of chlorpyrifos and methyl chlorpyrifos as pesticides in 2020. This ban responds to evidence that exposure levels to these compounds can be harmful to public health and the ecosystem.

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