Saudi Arabia bans import of Indian chili peppers

Friday, May 09, 2014,

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia, the fifth-largest importer of fresh vegetables from India, has banned the import of Indian chili due to the presence of high pesticide residues in it, media reported Friday.

“We have been informed about the Saudi ministry of agriculture’s decision to ban chili pepper beginning May 30,” Arab News quoted Surinder Bhagat, second secretary of politics and commerce at the Indian embassy here, as saying.

“We are in touch with the Saudi authorities to resolve the issue,” he added.

An agriculture ministry official said that the decision to ban the import of chili peppers was made after a sample testing of an Indian shipment found the presence of high level of pesticides, the report said.

“It has been brought to the attention of the authorities here that in recent vegetable consignments from India, there have been interceptions of higher than permissible levels of residues of pesticides,” the ministry statement said.

“If the situation persists, the government of Saudi Arabia will take action in the near future,” it added.