European Union bans Indian mangoes, vegetables due to concerns over pests

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Mar 27, 2014 00:21 IST

The European Union’s Standing Committee on Plant Health on Wednesday decided to impose a ban on Indian mangoes and some vegetables from May due to concerns over the presence of pests and insects in consignments arriving from India.

The committee’s meeting at Brussels endorsed the emergency measures proposed by the Commission to ban the import of certain fruits and vegetables: [Colocasia sp (taro, eddo) Mangifera sp, (mango) Momordica sp (bitter gourd), Solanum melongena (eggplant) and Trichosanthes sp (snake gourd)] from India.

The measures prohibit the import of some fruits and vegetables from India to tackle what is called “significant shortcomings in the phytosanitary certification system” of such products exported to the EU, the member states said.

This decision had to be taken due to a high number of such consignments being intercepted at arrival in the EU with quarantine pests, mainly insects, like non-European fruit flies.

The EU said that though the prohibited commodities represent less than 5 % of the total fresh fruits and vegetables imported into the EU from India, the potential introduction of new pests could pose a threat to EU agriculture and production.

Such pests were found in 207 consignments of fruits and vegetables from India imported into the EU in 2013. A revision of the ban will take place before 31 December 2015, it said.

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