The EU member states have agreed to an import ban for fruit-bearing traces of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide deemed harmful to human health. Chlorpyrifos is used by farmers to prevent insects from damaging their produce. Traces are often found on imported fruit such as oranges or mandarins in countries such as Germany, where the substance has been taken off the market.
The decision, taken by a majority of member states, follows an EU-wide ban on the insecticide itself. Its approval expired in January. Following a three-month transitional period, any fruit, imported or otherwise, bearing more than the smallest traceable amount of the pesticide will be banned from sale across the EU.
In August, the European Food Safety Authority expressed concerns about possible genotoxic effects as well as neurological effects during development, supported by data indicating effects in children.