Mango Import Ban 'Will Cost Firms Millions'
A ban by Brussels on Indian mango imports will cost UK firms millions of pounds, the Prime Minister has been warned.
The damage to businesses was raised in Parliament by Labour MP Keith Vaz, who is pressing for the EU bar to be lifted.
David Cameron said he understood the strength of feeling over the "serious issue", but pointed to concerns about the cross-contamination of British crops, and said decisions had to be based on science.
He said he would "look forward" to discussing the issue with the new Indian prime minister.
The ban was brought in after non-European food pests were found in 207 shipments of fruit and vegetables in 2013.
The UK imports around £6m worth of Indian mangoes each year.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Vaz, who represents Leicester East, said the import ban had come into force on May 1.
He said: "As a result, hundreds of businesses in Leicester and throughout the UK will suffer millions of pounds of losses.
"There was no consultation with this House and no vote by British ministers."
Mr Vaz asked the PM: "Will he do his best to reverse this ban so that we can keep our special relationship with India, which his predecessors and he have worked so hard to maintain, and have our delicious mangoes once again?"
In response, Mr Cameron thanked the MP for the tray of mangoes he had delivered to Downing Street shortly before the ban was imposed.
He said: "This is a very serious issue. The European Commission has to consider it on the basis of the science and the evidence.
"There are concerns about cross-contamination of British crops and interests, so we have to make sure that that is got right.
"I understand how strongly he and the Indian community in this country feel. Indeed, I look forward to discussing the issue with the new Indian prime minister."
India is currently holding a general election, with votes due to be counted on May 16.