The Greek health authorities have issued a serious warning through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) because of the presence of an unauthorized pesticide in cherry tomatoes from Italy.
The tomatoes contained more than 27 times the maximum residue limit set for the insecticide chlorfenapir; a substance that is not authorized for use in vegetables by the European Union (EU).
According to the information issued by the RASFF on May 15, the Italian tomatoes contained chlorfenapyr residues at a rate of 0.27 milligrams per kilo, when their MRL is set at 0.01 milligrams / kilo, even though its use is prohibited.
The Italian cherry tomatoes had been distributed in supermarkets of Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Greece, where they were immediately withdrawn from the shelves.
Chlorfenapyr is an insecticide-acaricide of the pyrroles chemical group. It becomes an active agent after ingestion by the insect. It is synthesized from a compound produced by bacteria known as halogenated pyrrole and is also ovicidal for some species.
Its intake is toxic to humans and has caused several cases of death by accidental intake in recent years.