News / Africa

Europe Bans South African Citrus Imports

FILE - Citrus fruits in Concord, New Hampshire, pictures on October 11, 2011.
FILE - Citrus fruits in Concord, New Hampshire, pictures on October 11, 2011.
Reuters
The European Union on Thursday banned most imports of South African citrus for the remainder of this year over fears that a fungal disease found in dozens of shipments could spread to the 28-nation bloc.
 
The ban follows the interception of 36 citrus consignments this year from the EU's chief summer supplier that were contaminated with the fungal black spot disease, which is not currently found in Europe.
 
Earlier this month, Reuters reported that the European Commission was set to propose the ban following pressure from citrus growers in southern Europe.
 
“The introduction of citrus black spot into the EU territory would pose a serious threat to the EU's citrus-producing areas. For that reason, it is necessary to further restrict the import of citrus fruit from South Africa,” the Commission said in a statement confirming the move.
 
The ban will apply to all South African citrus shipments from regions where the disease is present, which covers the bulk of the country's production.
 
Initially the ban will apply only to the 2012-2013 harvest, which ended in October. It will, therefore, have little immediate impact because the exports to Europe dry up around October anyway.
 
But EU officials have warned that the restrictions could be extended into next year if an ongoing study by the bloc's food safety watchdog finds that the disease could take hold in Europe's estimated 500,000 hectares of citrus groves.
 
That would threaten South Africa's 600,000 tons of citrus fruit exports to Europe each year - mainly oranges, lemons, limes and tangerines - worth some 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion).
 
South Africa supplies about a third of the bloc's total citrus imports and is the main source of oranges for the juice drunk by consumers in Britain, Germany and France during the European summer months.
 
The ban comes at a sensitive time, because the European Union is seeking South Africa's support to unlock stalled trade deals with sub-Saharan Africa.
 
While harmless to humans, citrus black spot causes unsightly lesions on the fruit and leaves, reducing both harvest quality and quantity. There is no known cure, but fungicides can be used to control the spread of the disease.
 
It is found in many citrus-growing regions in the southern hemisphere as well as in China and the United States but has never established itself in Europe.
 
In a draft scientific opinion published in July, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said the chance of citrus black spot taking in hold in Europe was “moderately likely”.
 
But it added there was a high level of uncertainty due to a lack of knowledge over how the disease would respond to the EU climate.
 
EFSA's assessment is due to be completed by the end of this year.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Gerald
November 29, 2013 11:00 PM
This is really incredible action taken by the European Union over an agricultural fungal infection known as "Black Spot", yet when compared to the 20,000 people who lost their lives in the Gukuruhundi campaign in Zimbabwe, to mention just but one, where was the European Union then?


by: Marko from: UK
November 28, 2013 1:01 PM
the whole African continent is a fungal disease...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid