While farmers are busy harvesting mangoes around Taiwan during the peak season for the fruit, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, Council of Agriculture said that it has found significant amounts of mangoes for export to mainland China and South Korea that contain excessive levels of pesticides, Apple Daily reported.
The bureau deputy director-general Feng Hai-tung (馮海東) said that the department will dispose of the affected mangoes that remain in the country. Feng noted that the pesticide levels adhere to Taiwan’s standards.
Although mainland China has adhered to Taiwan’s standards for imported produce in the past, it has increased inspections recently and raised standards. South Korea’s import standards are higher.
The Xiamen Entry-Exit Inspection And Quarantine Bureau in China said that it detected levels of the pesticide deltamethrin in excess of import standards in five batches of mangoes from Taiwan. The maximum level of deltamethrin for imports to China is 0.05ppm, while the standard for Taiwan is 0.5ppm. In the US, the acceptable daily intake (ADI) for deltamethrin is 0.01 mg/kg.
Following the inspection, China State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine issued a warning on July 19 about mango imports from Taiwan and increased inspections. The warning is effective for six months. Authorities in mainland China destroyed all mango imports from Taiwan.
Feng said that the actions by China are likely not politically motivated and that China has placed greater importance on food safety in recent years. However, in the past it was possible to negotiate with the state agency and present scientific evidence that the pesticides pose no public health risk.
Two years ago mainland China increased inspections on pineapples after imports from Taiwan were discovered to contain excessive pesticide levels.