UAE bans import of fruits and vegetables from five countries

Imports from Egypt, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen will be banned as of May 15, according to the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.

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ABU DHABI // The UAE has banned the import of certain fruits and vegetables from five countries in the Middle East over concerns about high levels of pesticides.

Imports from Egypt, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen will be stopped as of May 15, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment said. The list includes all varieties of pepper from Egypt; peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, squash, beans and aubergine from Jordan; apples from Lebanon; melons, carrots and watercress from Oman; and all types of fruit from Yemen.

The ministry said countries affected by the ban must submit certificates to indicate that all other vegetables and fruits are free of pesticide residues before imports can resume and they have been asked to comply with the food safety standards.

Pesticides, particularly derivatives of chlorinated pesticides, are harmful because they can bioaccumulate and build up to dangerous levels in the body and 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.

All fresh produce and processed foods are tested by the ministry, in laboratories accredited by the British Commission for Accreditation, to ensure they meet international standards.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

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