Bulgaria: seizure of tons of pesticides

The Bulgarian Food Safety Agency and the Bulgarian National Police General Directorate, together with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), which coordinated the gathering and analysis of intelligence, have seized 11 tons of illicit pesticides due to various violations.  

Some of the substances confiscated are banned in the European Union, as they are considered dangerous for human health and the environment. In details, Thiamethoxam and Imidacloprid can harm pollinators, including domesticated honeybees, posing a threat to food security. Chlorpyrifos can result in neurotoxicity and is strongly linked to brain damage in children.  

The investigators also found expired products, items with no label or with labels that did not include a translation into the local language, which is mandatory.  

The authorities declared that they have reason to believe that the illicit pesticides were smuggled from outside the European Union.  

Ville Itälä, Director-General of OLAF, said: "Fraud is not an abstract concept – fraud can harm humans and the environment alike. Some of the illicit substances that we seized together with the Bulgarian authorities are very dangerous for human health and for bees.”  

OLAF declared that further enquiries are ongoing, however, no more details have been shared in order to not jeopardize the investigation as well as to protect procedural rights and personal data.