The latest edition of the annual EU report on pesticide residues in food is now available. Just under 96% of food samples were found to be free of pesticide residues or to contain traces that fall within legally permitted levels.
Milestone 2019 pesticide seizure could cover the territory of Estonia. Operation Silver Axe IV, coordinated by Europol with support from the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), led to the seizure of 550 tons of illegal or counterfeit pesticides. The 2019 seizure is large enough to cover a surface of up to 50,000 km² – the size of a country like Estonia. Numerous police, customs and plant protection authorities from 29 countries participated in the operation.
A new milestone for one of Europol’s annual operations, supported by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and involving nearly 30 countries. Operation Silver Axe began in 2012 to target the illegal trade of pesticides. Since its launch, 1222 tonnes of illegal and fake counterfeit products have been seized. In 2019, 550 tonnes of goods have been confiscated in Europe and three individuals arrested.
Recent outbreaks of a plant bacterium have led to losses in olive and almond orchards in southern Europe. Known as Xylella fastidiosa (XF), there is no known cure. An EU-funded project is making major strides in improving prevention, early detection and control of the disease, aiming to avoid further economic damage and to save jobs.