English Apples & Pears (EAP) has been praised by the European Commission for the quality of its submission on residues of the apple scald inhibitor DPA (diphenylamine), which has resulted in its permitted minimum residue level (MRL) being set at 0.1mg/kg rather than at the limit of detection from next March.
This is despite the chemical not being used on UK-grown fruit. But EAP research showed to the commission's satisfaction that DPA could pass from bins, graders and cold stores previously used for treated imported fruit, to untreated fruit over a number of years.
EAP chief executive Adrian Barlow said afterwards: "Our research showed the level of contamination that could arise under UK conditions and we are very pleased that the new MRL takes account of those findings. I want to thank OrchardWorld for organising the research, which was undertaken by a professional laboratory and will benefit all those marketing apples or pears in Europe."
The new MRL still represents a hundredfold reduction in permitted levels, which will pose a problem for US, South African and South American fruit entering the European market, potentially undermining apple sales as a whole, he warned.
BID GAINS APPROVAL
The European Food Safety Agency has approved a UK bid to increase the minimum residue level of the fungicide flutriafol in apples, pears and stone fruit to accommodate imports from the USA.