A letter from AVA (Agri-food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore) to All Licensed Importers of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables dated 11th July 2006 :
SPINACH FROM CHINA
Our inspection records showed that the pesticide residues results of spinach imported from China were very unsatisfactory. For the last few months, the spinach consignments inspected were frequently found to contain pesticide residues higher than the permitted levels.
In view of its poor performance, AVA has decided to place Spinach from China under the Engorcement Surveillance (ES) programme with effect from 1 August 2006, whereby consignments of spinach imported from China will be subject to detention after inspection, pending the laboratory results. Consignments that fail the analytical tests will be destroyed.
I would advise all importers to closely monitor their imports, and to refrain from buying from poor sources or unreliable suppliers. Kindly note that if there is no improvement to the pesticide residue situation of spinach inspected under the ES programme, AVA may have to escalate it to a more stringent level of inspection, ie. the Enhanced Enforcement (EE) inspection programme whereby the importer will be compounded if the imports fail to meet AVA pesticide residues requirements.