A dangerous poison in oranges

For many people, they belong to the run-up to Christmas just: Juicy and tasty as some of the citrus put fruit in the St. Nicholas Shoe and provides in the evening Snacking the immune system with a lot of Vitamin C.

Yet so harmless to the enjoyment of mandarins, oranges and Grapefruit, unfortunately, is not. Because many of the imported fruits have residues of in Germany, non-approved pesticide Chlorpryrifos.

This insecticide is one of the most used means of repelling insects, which is found in many conventional buildings use.

EU-wide Chlorpryrifos ban from 2020

This will change however in the next year, for now, the EU has coordinated the Commission on an EU-wide ban on the drug.

In the EU, Chlorpyrifos is authorised for the first time in 2005, the permission to use several times since extended.

However, after a re-evaluation of the potential damage caused by the top of the European food safety authority EFSA said a preliminary recommendation on the ban of the pesticide – the criteria for admission are no longer met.

On the 06. December, the final verdict of the EU now: The authorisation was not extended in January, Chlorpyrifos is banned in the EU.

Harmful consequences for the past eight years

The reason: In a long-term study eight years ago, scientists came to the result that even small amounts of the substance negative impact on the brain development of babies in their mother’s suffering can have an impact.

As the researchers reported, the pesticide of the important areas of the cerebral cortex shrink, resulting in later noticeable loss in the intellectual performance of the children are noticeable. Then within the EU the highest values down.

In 2016, the EU would be a run-wide approval actually out. However, since the competent authorities had not decided in a timely manner on the extension, they extended the approval on a provisional basis. This happened a total of three times.

Fruit from Non-EU countries continues to be influenced

In Germany, the insecticide was banned already in 2015 – in the 20 other EU countries, it is currently approved, however.

Despite the ban, in Germany, the Federal office for consumer protection and food safety was able to demonstrate the poison in the year 2017 – about one-third of the tested Grapefruits and oranges were loaded.

“The case of Chlorpyrifos shows similar to glyphosate and the bees, the killers, the Neonicotinoids, that the authorisation procedures are working properly,” explains the Green Bundestag Deputy Harald Ebner, compared to the ‘TAZ’. “Chlorpyrifos should never have been allowed.”

This number of loaded fruits is likely to go back through the EU-wide ban significantly. However, fruit from Non-EU countries can be expected to continue to contain traces of Chlorpyrifos.

Chlorpryrifos avoid

In Germany, there are currently many to buy with Chlorpyrifos-treated citrus fruit. The purchase of this can, however, be easily avoided by buying organic products.

Because organic food may not be combined with synthetic pesticides and therefore free of any harmful chemicals.


  • The Federal office for consumer protection and food safety (2017): analyses results of the food monitoring of residues of plant protection products in foodstuffs of representation of the investigated food/drug combinations, cereals, food of animal origin, fruits, vegetables and other vegetable products, infant food sample, year, took, retrieved on 09.12.2019 https://www.bvl.bund.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/01_Lebensmittel/nbpsm/07_nbpsm_2017/psmr-2017-tab-24-surveillance_pdf.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=2

Cornelia Bertram

*The contribution of “Dangerous poison, on orange is & Mandarin: insecticide Chlorpyrifos is released is prohibited In the EU” by FitForFun. Contact with the executives here.