DA defends ‘substandard’ bananas

The Department of Agriculture justified why China considered the 34.78 metric tons of bananas they discarded “substandard”.

DA Assistant Secretary for Planning and Project Development Paz Benavide said if only China used the same standards in measuring allowable pesticide level in food as the Philippines’ other exporting countries, the bananas could have passed the test.

On Friday (March 25), China, the leading export destination of the Philippines have destroyed an equivalent of 33,000 dollars of “substandard” bananas.

According to the Chinese Central Television, the amount of carbendazim in these bananas have “exceeded the China’s standard limits for pesticide residue in food.”

Carbendazim is a type of fungicide to control plant diseases in cereals and fruits, including citrus, bananas, strawberries, pineapples among others.

“What happened was, the China’s limit for carbendazim residue is 0.1 and the bananas sent there contains 0.19. So there is a 0.09 excess in the carbendazim content. In the international food standard we used with other export countries, the Codex Alimentarius (Food Code), pasado yung bananas. But China has a different standard in measuring the maximum residue limit (MRL),” Benavide explained.

She said the incident was not preempted because China does not require the issuance of the certificate that presents the chemical residue of the goods or the certificate of analysis.

They only require a phytosanitary certificate to show the absence of pests and bugs.

“We do not issue certificate of analysis because it is not required by China, unlike sa Japan and Korea where there is a bilateral agreement that there should be a certificate of analysis before they can export,” said Benavide.

“But it does not mean the exporting companies will not comply to the standards,” she added.

| Published in 105.9 Balita FM Facebook page: DA defends ‘substandard’ bananas, April 1, 2016

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