A Chemical and Food Safety Alert
Northwest Horticultural Council
Phosphite Regulation in the European Union on Sweet Cherries
January 28, 2016
Current Situation: The temporary MRL of 75ppm for fosetyl-al on cherries expired on December 31, 2015. The current MRL is set at the level of detection, 2ppm. Growers should be aware of the potential for residues from the use of phosphite-based foliar fertilizers, and adjust use accordingly.
Background: In 2014, the European Union began regulating residues of phosphorous-based fertilizers as if they represented breakdown products of fosetyl-al (Aliette) after the European Commission approved a change in the residue definition for fosetyl-al. The current definition includes the sum of fosetyl, phosphorous acid and their salts. Phosphorous acid is also known as phosphonic acid, which is the main metabolite resulting from the use of fosetyl-al. The use of foliar phosphite fertilizers, such as potassium phosphonate and disodium phosphonate, may also lead to the formation of phosphonic acid in treated crops, resulting in a positive detection for fosetyl-al, even on untreated crops.
Note: Apples and pears (pome fruit) have a permanent MRL of 75ppm in the European Union, so pome fruit exports are not affected by this regulation.
Contact: If you have any questions, please contact the Northwest Horticultural Council at 509-453-3193.