Good news as mango ban is lifted

20-Jan-2015 @ 17:0

Syed Kamall Syed Kamall

Andrew Lewer Andrew Lewer

Andrew Lewer Andrew Lewer

A senior Conservative MEP today welcomed a decision to lift the EU's ban on mangoes from India.

London's Syed Kamall MEP said: "This announcement is fair and timely – good news for Indian growers and good news for customers in Britain."

Indian mangoes, often sold by the box-load, were banned last April by the EU Commission because plant pests had been found in consignments. It was feared they could threaten European salad crops.

Dr Kamall, who leads the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament, consistently called for an early lifting of the ban and urged EU officials to tackle the problem as Australia, New Zealand and Japan did, using vapour heat treatment.

The UK reportedly imports nearly 16 million mangoes each year, worth £6m, and the ban led to an e-petition calling on the UK Government to help supplies from India.

Mr Kamall said:  "I was anxious all along for the right balance to be struck between protecting our own horticulture industry from imported plant pests and playing fair by the growers on the Sub-Continent. For many communities in the UK, mangoes are a staple fruit and part of people's common diet.  They are delicious as well and healthy and I for one will be glad to see them back in my local stores."

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