Misinterpretation Behind News About Lifting UAE Ban on Jordanian Vegetables

AKEED -- A newspaper was quick to publish news about lifting the UAE ban on seven types of Jordanian vegetables after misinterpreting an internal circular leaked to it. The circular had omitted Jordan"s name.

The newspaper relied on an internal circular issued by the Ras Al Khaimah Municipality (north of the UAE) on 2 May 2017, confirming commitment to the decision by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment to ban the entry of some types of fruit and vegetables from several countries. The decision was announced on 24 April.

The circular, which reflected the exact items of the ministry"s decision, completely overlooked Jordan. Besides, Turkey was included for the first time among the countries that have to attach an accredited certificate to the effect that the shipments are free from pesticide residues as of 15 May.

The publishing of the news on the pages of Jordanian and Arab websites prompted the UAE ministry to issue a statement, in which it denied "lifting the ban on some types of fruit and vegetables from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan." It confirmed that no such decision has been made. Many news sites carried this report.

The Jordanian Media Credibility Monitor (AKEED) had published a report about the controversy over banning Jordanian vegetables from entering the UAE. It also highlighted the fact that some press reports exaggerated the story and depicted the decision to ban seven types of vegetables as a comprehensive ban on fruit and vegetables that constitutes "an economic blow to Jordan."

The AKEED Monitor observed that press reports are still using the expression "ban on fruit and vegetables from Jordan" although the decision does not include fruit at all and is confined to seven types of vegetables. This is a mistake involving generalization.

According to the standards adopted by AKEED, the reports have lacked the standard of accuracy by attributing the content of an internal circular by the Ras Al Khaimah Municipality to the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. This is in addition to the mistake of interpreting the omission of Jordan from the circular as lifting the ban on vegetables coming from it without going back to the source or the UAE ministry to confirm its truth.