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EU called to halt citrus import from South Africa

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Staff writer ▼ | April 25, 2014
South Africa citrusCopa-Cogeca sent a letter to the EU Commissioner Tonio Borg demandin him to stop imports of citrus fruit contaminated with black spot coming from South Africa.

Black Spot currently does not exist in the EU but it can be spread easily from imported fruits, Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen stressed. "The EU Commission presented a proposal to strengthen controls on citrus fruit imports coming into the EU from South Africa in March. And although this was a step in the right direction, it must be improved to be in line with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) report."

Mr. Pesonen called to ensure that all citrus imports be subject to additional control measures and that citrus imports from Guignardia citricarpa contaminated zones be automatically banned as soon as a sixth contaminated batch is detected. This must apply to all citrus imports for the fresh produce market and the processing industry.

Mr. Pesonen pointed out that we welcome the introduction of measures at packaging stations to inspect fruit for the fresh produce market, which would be based on taking samples, registering operators and improving the traceability of batches.

Copa-Cogeca calls on the EU Commission and Member States to take immediate action to stop imports of citrus fruit from South Africa at the EU Standing Committee on Plant Health next week.

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