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Are Algerian dates really absent from Moroccan markets?

There have been recent reports in some Moroccan media claiming that Algerian dates are absent from Moroccan markets during this Ramadan season. One news outlet, Assahifa, linked this to consumer concerns about potential residual nuclear radiation in batches imported from Algeria. According to the source, this could be due to the French nuclear tests conducted in the Algerian desert since the 1960s under colonial rule.

The media also noted an increased presence of dates from other countries to make up for the shortfall, including varieties like "Shamrukh", "Deglet Nour" and "Salima" imported from Tunisia. Egyptian "Al-Barari" dates and "Crown dates" from the United Arab Emirates are also more prominently featured. 

On social media, some journalists helped spread this narrative. One in particular, Youssef Belhaissi, echoed Assahifa's assertions that residual nuclear fallout could be behind the absence of Algerian dates from the Moroccan market.

However, an on-the-ground check of markets in Fez and Casablanca told a different story. Most traders reported still selling Algerian dates, suggesting the circulating claims may be unfounded.

A deeper analysis raises some questions around these allegations. Nuclear testing in the Algerian desert took place over 50 years ago, so residual radiation would likely no longer be a health concern according to nuclear experts. Political tensions between Algeria and Morocco could also potentially factor into efforts to discourage Moroccan consumption of Algerian goods.

Ultimately, without any official statements or concrete evidence presented, the claims that nuclear radiation has caused a ban on Algerian dates remains unsubstantiated speculation at this point. While regional geopolitics may influence trade dynamics, more verification would be needed before reaching definitive conclusions in this case. The reality observed in Moroccan markets contradicts the narrative presented in some initial media reports. Continued monitoring of date imports and sources could help provide more clarity around this issue going forward.

In summarizing this report, it outlined claims made in some Moroccan media of Algerian dates being absent from local markets due to concerns over residual nuclear radiation from testing in Algeria decades ago. However, checks of Moroccan markets found traders still selling Algerian dates, contradicting these assertions. Deeper analysis raises questions around whether radiation would still be a risk after 50+ years and if politics influence efforts to discourage Moroccan consumption of Algerian goods. Overall, more evidence is required before confirming or rejecting the speculations presented regarding Algerian dates and potential nuclear contamination.

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