The shipment of fresh cucumber from Serbia was stopped at the border with Slovenia because the fungicide metalaxyl found in it was above the permitted limit, it was posted on the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) website.
RASFF states that the disputed vegetables did not end up on the market and that the border inspection ordered the cucumbers to be destroyed. As reported by the media, metalaxyl was not marked as dangerous on the RASFF website, but a larger than prescribed amount was found in that particular shipment of cucumbers (0.025 milligrams instead of the permitted 0.01)
Metalaxil is a fungicide that has a wide spectrum of action and works preventively in the protection against blight – a plant disease. Metalaxil mixed with copper is used to control blight on hops, soybeans, tobacco, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers and onions.
The prescribed time that must elapse from the last pesticide application to harvest, is different for each of these crops, so it is assumed that the producer probably did not fully follow the procedure.
Although this is not an excuse for the negligent treatment of agricultural products, the fact is that in the last ten days, through the EU’s RASFF, hundreds of products from various countries where some major or minor problem was found.
The website, accessible to the general public, listed squid from Italy with a higher concentration of cadmium and French cheese and chicken in which dangerous bacteria listeria. RAFF listed garlic bread from Britain which shipment was stopped at the border and destroyed because mould was found in it. Inspectors also stopped a shipment of bananas from the Philippines at one of the border crossings because of the presence of chlorpyrifos, the use of which is banned in the EU due to potential health hazards. Frozen chicken fillets from Lithuania were also destroyed due to the presence of salmonella.
To remind, in mid-August, peaches grown in Serbia were returned from the border with Croatia because they contained high levels of the pesticide chlorpyrifos. The reported pesticide is banned in the EU, while in Serbia its use is allowed only by farmers who grow sugar beets.
This post is also available in: Italiano