Northwest Horticultural Council
France Renews its Ban on Use of Dimethoate on Cherries
May 19, 2020
Current Situation: On April 8th, 2020, France announced a renewal of its ban on imported cherries from any country that allows the use of dimethoate for the treatment of cherry trees. The ruling became effective on April 26, 2020. The ban instituted by France prohibits the import of cherries from countries that allow the use of dimethoate, even if that chemical was not used and is not present on the fruit. This effectively results in the suspension of imports of conventionally produced U.S. cherries into France. Organic cherries are specifically excluded from this ban, in accordance with the provisions of European Commission Regulation No. 834/2007, and may continue to be imported.
Other European Union Member States (such as Italy and Spain) have indicated that they may also ban the use of dimethoate and its presence in cherry fruit. At present, only France has issued an official policy banning the product.
Background: Dimethoate is used for control of sucking and chewing insects and fruit flies, and is commonly used in orchards after harvest for control of western cherry fruit fly (WCFF). Dimethoate may also be used to suppress spotted wing drosophila (SWD).
In 2016, France’s national food safety authority (ANSES) withdrew the permit for dimethoate-based pesticides and announced the intent to ban the use of pesticides containing dimethoate on fruit and vegetables. France claims that this action is possible due to a safeguard clause permitted by Article 54 of EU Regulation 178/2002. France also requested that the European Commission activate emergency measures to ban all uses of dimethoate on imported cherries to “protect consumers and producers from unfair competition.” France’s claim is the subject of much disagreement with the U.S.
Contact: If you have any questions, please contact David Epstein, vice president for scientific affairs, Northwest Horticultural Council at 509-453-3193.