The European Union warns about the entry and marketing in Spain of olives from Morocco that have high levels of a pesticide not authorized by the Community authorities.

The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) sounded the alarm on 5 September. The product entered Spain on August 18, when a border control was carried out, says the RASFF.

The results of the analysis showed the presence of the insecticide Chlorpyrifos in a proportion of 0.067 mg / kg-ppm, when its Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) is set at 0.01 mg / kg.

So far, no additional information has been published on other specific characteristics of this food, such as brand or packaging. Although it is known from the notification posted by the European Commission itself on the alert website that it is a "barbecue olive".

The EU food alert system has classified the incident as "serious", since Chlorpyrifos is not authorized in European space. For now, the olives have only been distributed in Spanish territory.

Banned in 2020

The use and marketing of this insecticide was banned in 2020 by the European Commission after bodies such as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) confirmed the genotoxic and neurological effects it could cause in children. Until then it was widely used in Spain.

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), "In people, short-term exposure to low levels of chlorpyrifos (mg) can cause dizziness, fatigue, runny nose, tearing, salivation, or nausea, among other effects. Short-term oral exposure at higher levels (gr), on the other hand, can lead to paralysis, seizures, fainting, and even death."