UAE slaps ban on fresh produce imports from five Middle Eastern countries

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UAE slaps ban on fresh produce imports from five Middle Eastern countries

A wide range of fruits and vegetables from Egypt, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen will be banned from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) market as of May 15, after authorities found excess pesticide residues on produce items from these countries. 

In a release published yesterday, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) said exposure to the residual chemicals - especially derivatives of chlorinated pesticides - could lead to bioaccumulation and harmful levels in the body, as well as 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," the MOCCAE said.

"Through its sophisticated laboratories accredited by the British Commission for Accreditation (UKAS), the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment works relentlessly to analyze pesticide residues in all fresh produce and processed food in line with best international standards.

"Laboratories in the UAE have the capacity to analyze several samples simultaneously. By doing so, they save time in issuing the results and help in making prompt and appropriate decisions on consignments that violate safety rules and procedures."

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.

The countries impacted by the ban have been requested to provide a certificate of analysis of pesticide residues for 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 ministry said.

"The ban on the above mentioned produce will continue until the necessary safety requirements are met and pesticide residues are cleared."

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