Tea, pistachios, meat… nearly one in four imported products is not up to standard

According to a Senate report unveiled on Thursday, many agricultural and food products imported into France do not meet the environmental and health “minimum standards” imposed on French producers.

“Today in France, more than one day a week, we consume products that are only imported products on our plates… The worst thing is that in this which comes from elsewhere, a quarter does not respect the standards that we impose on French farmers,” said Senator LR of Haute Loire, Laurent Duplomb, on Thursday. This professional farmer was referring on Thursday to the estimate contained in the report on French agriculture, published by the Senate, which indicates that 10 to 25% of agricultural and food products imported into France do not meet “minimum standards » environmental and health «imposed on».

In addition to the question, oh so important, of the sanitary safety of imports for the plates of the French, the report also underlines that this phenomenon exercises unfair competition towards French producers. “Each year, between 5 and 10 billion euros of illegal products would be sold in France and would exert downward pressure on the prices of French products”, specifies the text.

An inability to ensure the quality of imported products

The report raises alarm about the “loss of competitiveness of French agriculture” against its neighbours, Germany and the Netherlands in particular, expressing concern about “European social dumping” and “health over-regulation in France” which curbs French agricultural production and exports while encouraging imports of lesser quality. “Imports of agricultural and food products are increasing, while their compliance with the production standards required in France is not guaranteed. This results in an attack on the food security of the French people, on the economic competitiveness of agriculture and on the income of farmers”, regrets the report.

“The rates of physical control of imported goods are very low: between 3 and 7%. »

Laurent Duplomb, Senator LR of Haute-Loire,

Still relying on the report, Laurent Duplomb affirms that France “does not ensure the necessary control so that the products which return from abroad correspond to what we ask from French producers”, adding that “the control rates physical” of the goods, which are between 3 and 7%, are “very low”.

A non-compliance rate of 17% for fresh butcher’s meat

In detail, the document specifies that between 8 and 12% of foodstuffs imported from non-European countries do not meet European production standards. In particular, he mentions tea from China (13%), peppers from the Dominican Republic (16%) and pistachios from the United States (20%) as foodstuffs with a “higher than average” non-compliance rate. .

Interestingly, the text points to “greater” fraud in organic products, with the Directorate for Competition and Fraud (DGCCRF) noting that “17% of physical checks on products from organic farming” were “not compliant in 2017”. But the document especially criticizes (non-organic) agricultural products imported from the European Union, where the non-compliance rates in 2017 were 17% for fresh butcher’s meat, 13% for fresh poultry meat, 25% for meat products, 21% for raw milk or milk-based products.

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