France has introduced an emergency measure to ban imports of cherries from other Member States or from third countries where phytopharmaceutical products containing the active substance dimethoate is used. France adopted similar measures in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Reports by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) confirm the seriousness of French concerns regarding this substance, particularly in relation to problems with technical specifications, possible mutagenic effects, suspected endocrine-disrupting effects on the thyroid, the significant risk posed to mammals, bees and non-target arthropods, and the numerous risk assessment aspects that are yet to be finalised. The EFSA’s conclusions do not make it possible to identify a safe form of usage, and confirm that the consumption of fresh cherries from cherry trees treated with dimethoate is likely to pose a serious risk to human health.
In light of the foregoing, the French authorities asked the European Commission to take emergency measures to ban the use of dimethoate for cherry trees, and to suspend the placing on the European market of fresh cherries from cherry trees treated with dimethoate. However, as the European Commission has not taken such measures, France has decided to introduce the notified national emergency measure.