The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) has notified the alert issued by the authorities of Germany, after having detected high contents of chlorpyrifos, dimethoate, and omethoate -all of which exceeded their maximum residue limit- in a batch of cherries from Turkey.

The excessive presence of the three pesticides was detected in an official market control carried out on July 19. The batch of cherries had a ratio of 0.029 +/- 0.015 mg/kg – ppm of Chlorpyrifos when its MRL is set at 0.01 mg/kg – ppm.

Dimethoate was present in Turkish cherries in a ratio of 0.16 +/- 0.08 mg/kg – ppm. The batch also had 0.069 +/- 0.035 mg/kg – ppm of Omethoate. The MRL of these pesticides is set at 0.01 mg/kg – ppm, just as in chlorpyrifos.

The pesticides
The use of chlorpyrifos -an organophosphate insecticide with a wide degree of control and high penetration power that acts on insects by contact, ingestion, and inhalation- is banned by the European Commission due to its danger. A group of researchers from the faculties of Pharmacy and Biochemistry and Medicine of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), together with scientists from the National University of Comahue (Argentina), found that exposure to low doses of Chlorpyrifos (CPF) causes breast cancer in humans.

Dimethoate and omethoate are pesticides used as insecticides and acaricides, which act by contact and ingestion. They affect the central and peripheral nervous systems and produce cardiac and respiratory depression. In high doses, they can produce headaches, nausea, vomiting, cramps, weakness, blurred vision, punctate pupils, chest tightness, labored breathing, nervousness, sweating, watery eyes, salivation or foaming in the mouth and nose, muscle spasms, or coma.