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European Union: Temporary chlorpropham MRL gets green light

It’s a green light for a temporary Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) for the sprout inhibitor, chlorpropham. That level may be 0.4 mg/kg in ware potatoes. A European Union Standing Committee agreed to this in a digital vote. The temporary MRL is expected to take effect around the summer of 2021.

The exact starting date depends on further decision-making within the EU. The current 10.0 mg/kg MRL will remain in force. That’s until the temporary MRL comes into effect. The use of chlorpropham has been banned. But, ware potatoes will still be delivered under the current MRL. That’s in the 2020/2021 season.  

The Standing committee for Plants, Animals, Food, and Feed (SCoPAFF) decided on this temporary MRL. They did so in an online meeting. The Netherlands is one of the countries that has worked hard for this. This decision will be reviewed by the European Council and the European Parliament. The official publication will follow in three to six months.

The temporary MRL will become effective six months after publication. An exact starting date is, therefore, not yet known. It’s, however, expected to be around summer next year. Until then, the current MRL of 10.0 mg/kg will remain valid. Ware potatoes imported from outside the EU will soon have to meet this temporary MRL too.

Many arable farmers used to use anti-sprouting products based on chlorpropham. That means residues are present in many storage facilities. Chlorpropham use has been disallowed since July this year. Sometimes the EU decides not to re-authorize the use of a substance.

A MRL is usually reduced to 0.01 mg/kg. That could cause problems for ware potato growers. There’s a risk of cross-contamination in storage sheds where farmers use chlorpropham. This temporary MRL and cleaning protocols for storage sheds provide a solution for that sector.

Source: FreshPlaza, Read the full report here

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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