Through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), Germany issued a notice to consumers, warning of the high presence of pesticides in cherries imported from Turkey.
The case was detected in the middle of this year – on July 19 – thanks to an official market control, where excessive presence of Chlorpyrifos, Dimethoate and Omethoate was detected. In particular, a proportion of 0.029 +/- 0.015 mg/kg – ppm of Chlorpyrifos was measured, when its Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) is established at 0.01 mg/kg – ppm.
Meanwhile, Dimethoate was present in Turkish cherries in a proportion of 0.16 +/- 0.08 mg/kg – ppm. Regarding Omethoate, the analyzes showed a presence of 0.069 +/- 0.035 mg/kg – ppm. In both cases, its MRL is set at 0.01 mg/kg – ppm.
The situation worries the country ‘s food authorities, due to the implications that overeating these substances can have for people. An example is what happens with Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate insecticide used to control sucking and chewing pests, which has a high degree of penetration and acts by contact, ingestion and inhalation.
According to a group of researchers from the faculties of Pharmacy and Biochemistry and Medicine of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), together with scientists from the National University of Comahue (Argentina), low-dose exposure to this compound could cause breast cancer.
Dimethoate and Omethoate, on the other hand, are pesticides used as insecticides and acaricides, which act by contact and ingestion and which in high doses can even cause nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, chest tightness, muscle spasms and coma in very serious cases.
To date, no major inconveniences related to consumers have been recorded, so it is expected to see what will happen in a new cherry season and what actions the authorities will take.