Economy, Domestic Economy

UAE Says Iranian Watermelon Safe

UAE Says Iranian Watermelon SafeUAE Says Iranian Watermelon Safe

The United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Environment and Water finally put an end to the rumors about watermelons the UAE had imported from Iran after certain Emirati media had claimed that the fruit was contaminated.

The ministry said that radon tests on the fruit imported from Iran revealed that it does not contain any chemical substances, insecticides, or other contaminants, as reported by Emirates 24/7.

“Tests also showed that the melons are radiation free. The pores on the fruits were caused by an insect infection,” the ministry said in a statement.

Earlier, the UAE’s Albayan newspaper had reported that shipments of Iranian watermelons were stopped by inspectors for suspicious pores and blotches in the rinds. It was alleged that the melons had been injected with poison, and the rumors spread like wildfire.

However, UAE officials said the suspicious pores had naturally developed and were sourced back to larvae secretion.

Assistant undersecretary at the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water, Sultan Alwan, said that earlier tests showed the melons contained traces of fruit beetles but there was no presence of live bugs in the fruit and there were “absolutely no signs of poison.”

The Iranian Embassy in Abu Dhabi said in an announcement that “the hasty reports by certain foreign media on the contamination of watermelons from Iran are false and baseless,” IRNA reported.

The embassy referred to the accusations as “an attempt by competitors to take-over the market of high quality Iranian agricultural products.”

Furthermore, the deputy head of plant health and quarantine at Iran’s Plant Protection Organization (PPO), Hossein Izadi, noted that the UAE is the only country which had suspended watermelon imports from Iran while exports to other countries such as Turkey, Turkmenistan, Georgia and Germany are still in place.

The volume of rejected watermelons by UAE is not considerable and Iran has resumed exports, as “two shipments were discharged in the UAE earlier this week,” said the official.

He added that the government is drafting a complaint that will be dispatched to UAE authorities, demanding a thoroughly documented report of the reasons why the shipments were rejected.