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Impact of carbofuran ban on coffee imports

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:12 am
by CravesCoffee
The EPA's final decision on the pesticide carbofuran, which goes into effect on Dec 31, bans any residue of this chemical (marketed as Furadan) on any food, and that includes coffee imports. Carbofuran is used on coffee as an insecticide; I know Kenya in particular uses it as well as other countries. Has anybody heard of repercussions in the coffee industry for importers/exporters who must avoid coffee which has been treated with this pesticide?

Julie Craves
Coffee & Conservation
http://www.coffeehabitat.com
http://twitter.com/birdbarista

Re: Impact of carbofuran ban on coffee imports

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:11 am
by SL28ave
If carbolfuran is "over-the-counter" in Kenya, as Wikipedia suggests, how would its use be traced by US authorities? I mean, it's applied to the soil, not the beans, right?

I think it's also banned in Europe; Germany purchases 4 times as much Kenyan coffee than the States. I'm curious how this will play out on the ground. Though, I'm avoiding taking a position, because right now I'm far from being on the ground.

Thanks for the heads up.

Re: Impact of carbofuran ban on coffee imports

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:49 am
by CravesCoffee
The FDA is responsible for enforcing pesticide residue and tolerance laws (http://bit.ly/1ghsdz). It appears they spot-check imports, and can seize shipments in violation. (How long would these tests take? Do they hold shipments until testing is complete? It seems to me that there would be so little residue on green coffee -- especially if carbofuran is primarily applied to the soil -- that it would be difficult to detect without some pretty sensitive tests.)

Julie Craves
Coffee & Conservation
http://www.coffeehabitat.com
http://twitter.com/birdbarista

Re: Impact of carbofuran ban on coffee imports

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:50 am
by SL28ave
Any undetectability shouldn't undermine the importance of carbofuran toxifying water systems (and killing birds). If everyone else is banning it, Kenya might eventually ban it. Then the question becomes: how will food and coffee cultivation be affected? Will there be a replacement chemical or genetic modification :?

I wonder how much SL28 and SL34 are even susceptible to these pests.

Re: Impact of carbofuran ban on coffee imports

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:39 pm
by Jeff Givens
SL28ave wrote:Any undetectability shouldn't undermine the importance of carbofuran toxifying water systems (and killing birds).


It doesn't just end there. Carbofuran is used to kill lions and other wildlife that are viewed as "pests." CBS 60 Minutes did a segment on this subject. It's pretty sickening.

Would it be possible to get to exporters to guarantee that their coffee is Carbofuran free?