EU Lentil Import Issue

Non-Tariff Trade Barrier Impacting Lentil Trade to Europe


(Winnipeg, MB/Moscow, ID) April 8, 2011 - Pulse Canada and the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council have joined forces to work toward a resolution of a problem that is limiting lentil trade between North America and Europe.  The CEOs from both organizations will hold meetings across Europe next week to discuss the issue with European buyers and work to ensure that there is a clear path forward.

At the heart of the issue is a technical difference between the EU’s maximum allowable level for glyphosate residue in lentils versus other crops in other countries.  The EU tolerance for glyphosate in lentils of 0.1 ppm is 1/100th the level they have set for peas, which is 10 ppm.  The USA’s MRL is 8 ppm for peas, and 5 ppm for lentils, while Canada’s MRL is 5 ppm for peas and 4 ppm for lentils. 

The issue first emerged when a shipment of organic lentils from Turkey to Europe was tested and found to exceed the EU’s tolerance for glyphosate.

“Europe is an important market for North American lentils and we need to ensure that there are workable solutions in place for the trade to address the differences in glyphosate tolerances.  This issue clearly points out the need for more harmonization across jurisdictions,” said Gordon Bacon, CEO of Pulse Canada.  Bacon estimates that the majority of North America’s lentils will have no detectable level of glyphosate because the bulk of the crop was not treated with the product.

 “We are working together to submit an application to the EU to establish an MRL that we hope will end up being more in line with the MRLs in place in Canada and the US,” said Tim McGreevy, CEO of the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council.  “We believe that the EPA’s treatment of dry peas, lentils, chickpeas and dry beans as a crop group with similar MRLs is a model to be considered by other regulatory jurisdictions,” McGreevy added.

The USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council represents U.S. producers, processors and exporters of dry peas, lentils and chickpeas.  The U.S. industry has been a quality supplier of pulse crops to the world community for over 60 years.

Pulse Canada is the national association representing growers, traders and processors of Canadian pulse crops (peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas). Canada is the world’s largest supplier of pulses, with exports reaching more than 150 countries.

Additional information can be found in this Backgrounder document.


For more information:

USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council                                                                    
Tim McGreevy, CEO                                                                                    
2780 W. Pullman Road                                                                               
Moscow, Idaho 83843-4024                                                                     
Phone: 208-882-3023                                                                                     

Pulse Canada
Gordon Bacon, CEO
1212-220 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Phone: 204-925-4455

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