The Moroccan National Health Security Office of Food has destroyed contaminated mint plantations in northern and southern Morocco after testing showed the mint did not conform with pesticide standards.
Rabat – The Moroccan National Health Security Office of Food (ONSSA) has destroyed contaminated mint plantations in the Souss-Massa region in southern Morocco, and in the Tanger-Tetouan region in northern Morocco.
In a press release today, ONSSA explains the mint fields were destroyed after testing showed traces of unauthorized pesticides on the mint leaves, or unauthorized levels of pesticide usage.
Mint is heavily consumed by many households across Morocco, as it is an essential ingredient in the iconic Moroccan mint tea.
The fields were destroyed to prevent the commercialization of contaminated products on the national market, ONSSA adds.
ONSSA also issued fines and a number of people are facing charges for unauthorized farming practices.
ONSSA will continue to control the quality of the mint to ensure the product conforms with food security requirements, it states. It has also asked wholesale, large and medium-size supermarket to request scientific testing results, as proof that the mint meets health standards.
ONSSA has also tested mint in the regions of Rabat-Kenitra, Casa-Settat, Marrakech-Safi, and Fez-Meknes.
Recognizing that the reasonable use of pesticides helps fight against insects and weeds, ONSSA has however called on farmers to only use authorized products, and to strictly respect chemical dosage.
Last week, ONSSA issued a warning to the province leaders of Souss-Massa and Tanger-Tetouan, after finding that pesticide usage on the mint leaves from the areas did not meet food safety standards.
ONSSA described its finding as an “alarming situation, constituting an imminent risk to the health of consumers.”