Toxicity High in Smuggled Fruit

Toxicity High in Smuggled FruitToxicity High in Smuggled Fruit

Excess fungicides and pesticides used by smugglers to preserve fruits during the lengthy transportation process create toxicity in the products. Many of the smuggled fruits are overexposed to poisonous substances, as much as 10 times above the permissible limit. Some toxins penetrate into the fruit and washing will not help in detoxification, said Hossein Rastegar, head of food laboratories at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

While the permitted levels of pesticides in fruits is listed by the FDA, safety testing of the smuggled fruits show that in many cases expired fungicides are used to preserve them. Citrus fruits such as oranges and limes are the most exposed to toxicity, he said, reports IRNA.

“The smuggled fruits have no health labels approving their quality,” he warned.

Rastegar said the presence of smuggled fruit on market shelves is not acceptable at all, particularly when Iran is rich in fruit production and has a huge export market.

Although the Agriculture Ministry is in charge of monitoring the fruit and vegetable markets, no action has been taken to supervise smuggled fruit. “The Agriculture Ministry does not oversee contraband fruits and asks the Health Ministry for product verification only when a cargo is seized.”

To deal with this problem, a joint committee of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture has been set up and supervision of smuggled fruits and vegetables intensified in recent months.