Greece follows U.K., targets Chilean apples with morpholine
Greece’s food sanitary authority has removed some 40 tons of Chilean apples from the market after morpholine, a processing aid used in the wax finished, was detected, Chilean and international press reported.
Officials are following the lead of the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency (FSA), which earlier this month warned food service operators not to sell apples with the substance. According to reports the FSA contacted Greeke officials pulled the apples in the city of El Pireo. Initial reports say more than 40 tons of apples have been removed.
Morpholine is an additive in the waxing of fresh produce and is used freely in the United States, South Africa, Canada and Chile. However in the EU it is prohibited, although the FSA itself has said it poses a minimal health risk.
In Chile the exporters association ASOEX, the fruit growers federation Fedefruta and the country’s sanitation agency SAG released a joint statement saying that the Chilean entities were already in the process of rectifying the classification of morpholine. Additionally the statement said the situation affects not only Chile and not only apples, but mangoes, pineapples and citrus from various supplying nations.
Moreover the stock of Chilean fruit is almost completely exhausted due to the end of the season there, the statement added.
Fedefruta’s general manager Juan Carlos Sepúlveda called the move “disproportionate.”
The original measure in the U.K. met strong resistance from the trade association the Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC), which also labeled it “disproportionate” and questions the assertion that morpholine is harmful to consumers.