Customs stops 100 tons of Israeli oranges with banned pesticide

The bromopropylate can be used in citrus farming against mites and spiders, but has been banned in the EU since 2011.

File picture of oranges / Credit: iStock

Finnish customs Tulli has stopped more than 100 tons of oranges from Israeli making their way to consumers, because they were found to be contaminated with a pesticide that’s banned in the European Union.

The first batch of oranges was analysed in February and found to be tainted with bromopropylate, a chemical that is used as a pesticide against spiders and other mites on citrus fruits, but which has been prohibited in the EU since 2011.

“Every time the new harvest season begins, we examine the first batches arriving in Finland. Because we found problems, it was decided to continue monitoring until the end of the Israeli orange harvest season. We will probably also look at the next harvest season in an intensified way” says Jonna Neffling, Product Safety Manager with Tulli.

The oranges stayed in the importers’ warehouses during the checks, and only oranges that were safe have been allowed into stores.

Tulli examines about 3,000 imported food consignments every year, and about a third of them are tested for pesticide residue.