India’s organic farmers are facing ban from several countries following pesticide residues found in precuts sent from India.
According to the rules, organic products should not have any presence of pesticides and they fetch premium rates because of this quality.
In a recent incident, a consignment of rice sent to Finland from India was returned following detection of pesticide elements.
According o the Union commerce ministry notification, the test results of Finnish customs laboratory showed that the export consignment of organic long grain aromatic rice from a private exporter in Haryana to Helsinki contained pesticide residues, particularly inorganic bromide 23 mg/kg indicating the possible fumigation with methyl bromide.
According to officials, India exports 33 products, including, processed items, realising $77 million with the major organic products covering tea, spices, honey, Basmati rice, coffee, vegetables, cereals, dry fruits, sesame seeds and medicinal plants.
Under the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP), the commerce ministry devises policies for development and certification of organic products, national standards for organic products, accreditation of certification bodies and encourages the development of organic cultivation and processing. APEDA is the secretariat for implementation of the NPOP.
According to APEDA officials, they are getting reports from the exporters of organic products that some consignments were rejected at ports in the EU and other countries.
APEDA said wooden pallets used for organic products export were being treated with methyl bromide which is prohibited in organic standards the world over.
Accordingly, APEDA apprised the Directorate of Plant Protection and Quarantine and Storage not to insist on the methyl bromide fumigation for export of organic produce.
This was followed up by all inspecting office for phyto-sanitary inspection and APEDA has issued an advisory to the exporters of organic food products that the treatment of methyl bromide is banned in the export of organic food products.
Despite these clear instructions from APEDA on the avoidance of methyl bromide, an export consignment was found to have prohibited chemical.