Regulatory Updates. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.
Mike Willett with the Northwest Hort Council says there has been a significant reduction in the export of apples and pears to the European Union.
WILLETT: And the significant reduction in apples and pears started around the 2008-2009 shipping season when the European Union essentially made a wholesale change in their MRL protocols and reduced many MRL’s for chemicals that we use down to the limit of detection. Then in 2009-2010 the issue arose regarding morpholine.
Morpholine is used as a chemical emulsifier in the process of waxing fruit.
WILLETT: But that’s really changed our ability to successfully market apples into Europe. There’s a lot of testing going on by our customers and people have shied away from the market being concerned they’re not going to be able to meet those requirements.
He talks about how this problem is coming about.
WILLETT: And while the industry somewhat adjusted the folks that wanted to do business there have tried to figure out ways to make it work. We’re still having problems with detections of morpholine at really low levels. Levels down as low as 0.3 parts per million. Analytical chemists tell me once you start running your analytical methodology down to those levels there’s room for significant variability in results and what we’re seeing is often times labs are testing fruit here showing acceptable or zero levels of morpholine on the fruit, it gets shipped to Europe and then someone makes a detection.
That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.