13 Apr 2023 15:11

Slovakia halts processing batch of Ukrainian grain over exceeded norms of pesticides

MOSCOW. April 13 (Interfax) - Slovakia has halted processing a batch of Ukrainian wheat after exceeded norms of pesticides were found in it, Ukrainian media outlets said with a reference to acting Slovakian Agriculture Minister Samuel Vlcan.

Vlcan mentioned that he had ordered to tighten control over Ukrainian grain as early as in July 2022. "Even before we started placing seals on all transit trucks with Ukrainian grain, a relatively big sample of Ukrainian grain had been intercepted, and three independently accredited laboratories confirmed the presence of the increased content of pesticide residue in it," Vlcan said.

One of the largest mills in Slovakia was processing the batch of Ukrainian grain in which the increased pesticide content had been found. The remaining 1,500 tonnes of grain from this batch will not be processed.

The authorities of Slovakia will receive the results of the examination of the identified batch of wheat by the end of this week, and it will be clear if the pesticide residue in it is harmful to human health.

According to Vlcan, if Ukrainian grain had been supplied to Slovakia via a member state of the European Union, for instance, Poland, the existing control system would have made it possible to trace the purchase.

"So we're trying to find the source of this wheat. However, if the wheat has already been ground, for instance, in Poland, we won't be able to track it anymore. At the same time, we're conducing spot checks even of such imports [of flour]," the acting agriculture minister said.

Vlcan called on grain processors to be cautious while purchasing agricultural products, including those legally imported to Slovakia, from countries outside the EU.