EU ban on Indian mangoes, some vegetables
London, April 28, 2014
The European Union has temporarily banned the import of Alphonso mangoes and four vegetables from India from May 1, a report said.
The decision by EU's standing committee on plant health came after 207 consignments of fruits and vegetables from India imported into the EU in 2013 were found to be contaminated by pests such as fruit flies and other quarantine pests, said the Times of India report.
The temporary ban, proposed by the European Commission, covers mangoes, eggplant, the taro plant, bitter gourd and snake gourd, and prohibits the import to tackle the "significant shortcomings in the phytosanitary certification system of such products exported to the EU".
UK's Defra (the department for environment, food and rural affairs) said it was backing the ban as it was necessary due to pests which could threaten the country's £321 million salad crop industry of tomato and cucumber.
The UK imports nearly 16 million mangoes from India and the market for the fruit is worth nearly 6 million pounds a year.
A revision of the ban will take place before December 31, 2015.
Wholesalers and retailers in Indian-dominated regions of the UK have opposed the ban, which comes into effect on May 1, saying it will hit them hard.
"This is Euro-nonsense and bureaucracy gone mad. Indian mangoes have been imported to Britain for centuries. I am furious with the lack of consultation with those who will be affected by the ban," said Indian-origin MP Keith Vaz in the report.