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December 21, 2016

Japan Frustrated with Celery MRL Violations

Western Growers has been advised of another maximum residue level (MRL) violation involving a shipment of celery to Japan. Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare discovered a shipment that produced a 0.02 ppm residue level of Bifenthrin which exceeds Japan’s default MRL of 0.01 ppm. These continued violations have not only caused the Ministry to more closely scrutinize every shipment of fresh celery exported from the United States, but has made Japan question whether Western Growers members are willing to adopt recommended guidelines that follow good agricultural practices.

Japan is now under the perception that violation notices issued to the industry via Western Growers are either being ignored or not being taken seriously. Western Growers previously provided recommended steps for members to follow in preparing a shipment for export. In order to regain the trust of the Ministry, Western Growers is now being forced to develop a more robust program to be disseminated to exporters, and their grower suppliers, as an assurance that we are taking this situation seriously.

Until we develop a more detailed program, please follow the recommended steps previously published in Spotlight. Additionally, we urge you to either consult the MRL Database or contact Western Growers should you have any question about Japan’s pesticide MRL levels. Remember, simply because you meet the U.S. requirement does not mean that you will comply with Japan’s MRL regulations. In most cases you will find that Japan maintains a much lower MRL.

For more information, please contact Ken Gilliland at (949) 885-2267.