Breads of all types, crackers, cereal bars, toast, but also tuna or chicken in various exotic sauces, not to mention the ice cream for dessert, which therefore came to extend this Wednesday a list that has been open for several months… There are nearly 7,000 references in total – including “organic” products, which are therefore now subject to a “withdrawal-recall” procedure from the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) because ‘they contain sesame, psyllium or spices of Indian origin, contaminated with ethylene oxide at an unacceptable level. Ethylene oxide: carcinogenic substance that Europe has banned since 2011 …
“Naivety of the authorities”
A list of foods that it will be all the less necessary to hesitate to consult online on the site of the DGCCRF which it also writes, as and when references are added to it from month to month a real “soap opera “continuing now since last September.
Indeed, it was at that time that the French authorities were alerted by their Belgian counterparts to the presence of the unwanted pesticide, and that their investigations made it possible to gradually shut down the incriminated products.
But “it is also a new example of the naivety of the authorities about food imports”, denounces since February 17 Senator Laurent Duplomb (LR) who published a first information report on the case, putting to shed light on the control loopholes that exist between a strictly regulated European Union and exporting countries that are heavy users of pesticides banned in Europe.
For simplicity ? “In India, for lack of storage infrastructure that meets European health requirements, to disinfect the crop and kill salmonella, ethylene oxide fumigations are carried out,” he explains over the phone. But… “at the other end of the chain, when the product arrives with us, it then falls into a system where it is those who are going to sell it who control it. In doing so, when we take a closer look at the voluntary shortcomings or not- of these industrial “self-controls”, out of 900 molecules currently banned and regulated with limits, around 500 go under the radar, because lack of means and political will, there is a lack of official controls both at the French level and ‘European’, tackle Laurent Duplomb who is also continuing his investigation, all the more sensitive to food issues as he is a dairy farmer in Haute-Loire.