MRL Compliance Crucial for Citrus Exporters

Josh McGillCalifornia Corner, Fresh, Regulation

Maximum residue limits (MRLs) are a constant concern for growers. MRL issues can create a variety of obstacles depending on which market citrus exports are destined for. While the industry generally complies well with MRLs, caution is crucial as they can be a significant hurdle. Jim Cranney, president of the California Citrus Quality Council, said certain markets can be more challenging than others.


“Some of our largest export markets, like Japan and Korea, can be very difficult countries to work with in terms of MRL violations, if there are any, Cranney explained. “We always like to tell the industry that the best way to avoid problems with MRLs is to be careful, do testing and be diligent in understanding what residues you would expect to be on the fruit.”

The increased pressure of citrus thrips this year in California could create MRL issues for some growers and exporters. Cranney said that growers may have had to use materials that are not often used in some orchards, in attempting to mitigate thrips problems. Those atypical measures could create roadblocks in certain markets depending on the materials applied.

“So, we are alerting the industry to have a heads up, to keep an eye on MRLs, be aware of what pesticides are being used, and what the regulations are in each country,” Cranney said.

In Taiwan, approval for carnauba wax is pending, prompting importers to advise against including wax labeling statements on cartons to avoid drawing attention to its potential use. This is a significant concern in the region.

Additionally, there’s a recent MRL violation related to cyantraniliprole, a crucial pesticide for the citrus industry. While the context of the violation is unclear, the absence of an established MRL raises concern. “We would just advise growers and packers to keep an eye out in case they have used that material and are planning to export to Taiwan,” said Cranney.

Source: AgNet West