UK to assist India in ensuring lifting of ban on mango import

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A British government agency will help Indian authorities to put in place measures needed ahead of the visit of an EU team to India to ensure the ban on import of Alfonso mango is lifted.

Leading NRI Labour MP Keith Vaz said that he has received a letter from Prime Minister David Cameron regarding the EU ban on importation of Alphonso mangoes.

"The Prime Minister's letter confirmed that support and advice will be given to Indian authorities by the Food and Environment Research Agency ahead of the audit in September," said Vaz, who has been spearheading the British Parliament campaign to get the ban overturned.

The EU's "temporary ban", supported by DeFRA, came into force on May 1 and was to remain effective until December 2015 after authorities in Brussels found consignments infested with fruit flies that they feared could damage European salad crops.

Vaz spoke to the Health Commissioner Tonio Borg yesterday, who has confirmed that the audit in India will take place on September 2.

"I welcome the very important news from the Prime Minister which demonstrates the Government’s firm commitment to supporting and advising Indian plant health officials," Vaz said in a statement.

Commissioner Borg has now confirmed that if the audit in September proves successful, the European Commission will ensure a rapid review of the ban.

"It does not have to last until December 2015. The end of this hugely damaging EU decision which is preventing us from eating our favourite mango is finally in sight," Vaz added.

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