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Europe. Question on protecting Italian hazelnuts from imported Turkish ones

How the EC will reinforce the support to producers and to the Italian chain of products?

Presented by Mara Bizzotto (Enf)

"Parliamentary questions   

8 February 2019    


Question for written answer E-000764/2019
to the Commission
Rule 130

Mara Bizzotto (ENF)

Subject: Protecting Italian hazelnuts from the increasing volume of imported Turkish hazelnuts which pose a health hazard

On 27 November 2018 Coldiretti raised the alarm about the danger posed by Italian imports of hazelnuts from Turkey:  in the first 8 months of 2018 they amounted to about 21 million kilos, a 30% increase. Italian producers and consumers are seriously concerned because Turkish hazelnuts contain excessively high amounts of carcinogenic aflatoxins, as was confirmed by the rapid alert system (RASFF) which, in the first 9 months of 2018, registered 39 alerts concerning Turkish hazelnuts with excessively high levels of aflatoxins which posed a health risk.

Italy is Europe’s leading producer of hazelnuts and the second largest producer worldwide after Turkey. In Italy, hazelnut cultivation forms the basis of many products of Italy’s renowned confectionery sector, and the increasing volume of imports from third countries could damage Italian production that is currently booming and boasts 3 varieties of PDO and PGI hazelnut.

In the light of the above, will the Commission say:

1) Will it limit the volume of imports of hazelnuts from Turkey until Turkish producers ensure quality and health standards equal to those obtaining in the EU?

2) How will it increase support for Italian producers and the entire 100% Italian chain of hazelnut products?".
Last updated: 19 February 2019

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