Serbia has become a dumping ground for unused plant protection chemicals from the European Union. The Ministry of Agriculture was warned about chlorpyrifos found in peaches that were returned from the border with Croatia, but ignored the danger, even allowing the import of chlorpyrifos into Serbia.
Earlier this month, peaches were also returned from the border with Slovenia because they were found also to contain the pesticide chlorpyrifos.
Violeta Josifova, Development Director at BioGenesis, says that that was expected because the authorities took steps that inevitably led to the given outcome.
“Minister Jelena Tanasković allowed the import and use of the banned active substance chlorpyrifos, which has not been used in Serbia for a long time. Part of that substance ended up in fruit and it was not intended for that, which has now resulted in that the entire export of fruits and vegetables to Serbia may be banned,” notes Josifova.
She points out that she contacted both the Agriculture Ministry and the minister to warn of the harmful consequences that will result from the import of illegal active substances and environmental waste, but her pleas were ignored by the authorities.
“Serbia has become a dumping ground for unused supplies in the EU. Products that we import were discontinued there a long time ago. At the moment, we don’t know how big the inventory of such products is in Serbia and for how many years it will be sold illegally. Multinational companies in Serbia have brought everything the EU no longer uses to Serbia because they are allowed uncontrolled importation,” warns Josifova.
She also points out that another mistake was made when the authorities issued a permit to import copper-based pesticides, for sugar beet protection, despite the fact that this product is not allowed to use anywhere in the world.
“In this way, between 20,000 and 30,000 hectares of fertile arable land are devastated yearly,” she explains.
Chlorpyrifos is also the most common cause of rotting fruit that is imported. “Many exported apple batches were returned due to a high presence of chlorpyrifos”, Josifova adds.
To remind, chlorpyrifos has been in use since the 1960s and in the meantime, numerous studies have proven a connection between chlorpyrifos and damage to human DNA, digestive disorders, the occurrence of cancer and male infertility.
(Nova Ekonomija, 18.08.2023)
This post is also available in: Italiano