Faced with the abusive use of pesticides and allergenic substances, Algerian dates have been banned from being imported into France since last June. In Morocco, as the month of Ramadan approaches during which Moroccans consume large quantities of Algerian dates, the authorities are called upon urgently to take measures for the health protection of consumers.
While the borders are closed, diplomatic relations between Morocco and Algeria have been severed by Algiers and the Algerian authorities have decided to suspend all economic cooperation between the two countries, calling on companies with interests in Morocco to suspend them. , Algerian dates are still found in large numbers on the shelves of dried fruit sellers.
Packages ranging from 500 grams to 2 kg adorn the vast majority of shops in anticipation of the month of Ramadan, and sellers do not hesitate to emphasize their “Algerian” origin despite the health scandal last summer in France which destroyed or returned hundreds of kilos of Algerian dates because of the presence of prohibited products.
These are mainly dates of the Deglet Nour variety which were the subject of a recall in June 2022, marketed in different packaging, including packs of 250 and 500 grams as well as 1 kg.
The French government site RappelConso, justified this recall by the presence of an allergenic substance, sulfur dioxide, which was not declared on the product labeling and which was detected during the health check.
But the most dangerous is the presence of diflubenzuron, a pesticide banned in the European Union and which is widely used in the cultivation of dates in Algeria.
In Morocco, in Casablanca, the authorities destroyed half a ton of Algerian dates, illegally imported and not subject to sanitary control. Stored in a warehouse in Derb Sultan, the owners were unable to provide the documents justifying the legal purchase of these Algerian dates, especially since the breakdown of commercial relations, their importation remains complicated.
Despite this destruction with limited scope, the rest of the sellers continue to offer these Algerian dates at low cost unlike Moroccan dates. Professionals in the sector constantly complain about the unfair competition of these Algerian dates in the face of the lack of valorization of the national product and call on the ministries concerned to communicate around this phenomenon and the measures taken to ensure the health and safety of consumers.