DUBAI 25 April 2017: The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (Moccae), has banned imports of certain vegetables and fruits from select countries with effect from 15th May 2017 as those products have been found to contain pesticide residues in excess of permissible limits.
The countries that will be impacted by the ban include Egypt, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen.
UAE regulatory bodies stipulate the maximum permitted levels of pesticide residues in foods. Exposure of the general population to such residues most commonly occurs through the consumption of treated food sources. Many of these residual chemicals, especially derivatives of chlorinated pesticides are capable of bioaccumulation and can build up to harmful levels in the body as well as in the environment.
Persistent chemicals get magnified throughout the food chain and have been detected in products ranging from meat, poultry, and fish, to vegetable oils, nuts, and various fruits and vegetables.
All varieties of pepper from Egypt, pepper, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, squash, beans and eggplant from Jordan, apples from Lebanon, melons, carrots and watercress from Oman and all types of fruit from Yemen are on the list of banned produce.
Certificate of Analysis
The countries impacted by the ban have been requested to provide a certificate of analysis of pesticide residues in all other vegetables and fruits stating that they are free of such residues as of May 15, 2017.
The relevant ministries in these countries have also been asked to comply with the food safety standards adopted by the UAE. The ban on the produce mentioned above will continue until the necessary safety requirements are met, and pesticide residues are cleared.
Through its sophisticated laboratories accredited by the British Commission for Accreditation, UKAS, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment works relentlessly to analyse pesticide residues in all fresh produce and processed food in line with best international standards.
Food safety is a core priority of the UAE’s food security system. The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment continues its efforts to provide healthy and safe food to consumers in line with global best practices and the objectives of the UAE National Agenda and the UAE Vision 2021.
By Sheena Amos