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Customs blocks 100 tons of pesticide-tainted Israeli oranges

More than 100,000 kg of oranges from Israel were rejected due to the presence of an EU-prohibited pesticide.

Tullin laborantti uuttaa torjunta-aineita appelsiineista.
Only consignments that were confirmed as safe ended up in shops. Image: Tulli

So far this year, Finnish Customs has rejected about 104,000 kg of oranges imported from Israel due to the discovered presence of bromopropylate, a pesticide banned in the EU.

Customs examined and rejected the first consignment of oranges in February. By mid-April, Customs had examined 16 consignments and rejected eight of them.

"We examine the first consignments that arrive in Finland always at the start of a new harvest season. As we discovered problems with the consignments, we decided to continue with controls until the end of the orange harvest season in Israel. Most likely we will also conduct intensified controls during the next harvest season as well," Jonna Neffing, head of product safety for Finnish Customs stated in a release on Wednesday.

Only consignments that were confirmed as safe for consumers were allowed to end up in shops. Customs officials said that before February, bromopropylate had not been seen in Israeli oranges for several years.

Bromopropylate is an acaricide used against against spider mites found in citrus fruit. The EU prohibited the use of the pesticide entirely in 2011, as it could not be proven as safe for consumers.

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