The story appears on

Page A3

October 24, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Society

City dispels veggie pesticide scare

SHANGHAI agricultural authorities assured residents yesterday that the vegetables on their dinner tables are safe to eat and they will continue to battle the use of illegal pesticides.

The Shanghai Agriculture Commission said the city's pesticide residue tests show that vegetable safety is under control and 99 percent of the produce is free of excess chemicals.

The statement came in response to newspaper reports quoting a city lawmaker who alleged some farmers do not eat produce sold at local wet markets or supermarkets because of heavy pesticide content.

"That's totally untrue," said Chen Deming, director of the vegetable office at the Shanghai Agricultural Commission, adding he was "shocked" to read those reports.

Members of Shanghai People's Congress reportedly said during a meeting of the legislative body on Thursday that some farmers grow crops without using pesticides for their own use and don't eat the crops they sell to the public.

Two local newspapers headlined the comments from the unnamed rural lawmakers and said some migrant farmers use cheap but poisonous chemicals to mitigate the rising cost of land. They also cited lax supervision over pesticide use.

The report quoted lawmaker Yuan Yixing as saying that more needed to be done to ensure food safety.

"This really made me nervous," said Xu Xiaohua, 54, a housewife who read the report.

To dispel possible panic among city dwellers, agricultural authorities confirmed the safety of produce, maintaining that pesticide levels in local goods are decreasing.

Agricultural authorities have performed pesticide residue checks on 5,000 to 6,000 samples annually in Shanghai since 2006. More than 99 percent of vegetables grown here passed checks in August, increasing from 98.1 percent last year, Chen said.

"Our goal, of course, is for 100 percent to pass the tests," he said.

Every year, Shanghai also performs about 1 million quick checks for highly toxic pesticides that have been banned since 1997. None have been found in the past five years, and there have been no major cases of pesticide-related poisonings in that period.

The agricultural commission, together with the food supervision department of the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration, has tightened inspections on pesticide residue during production and in wet markets and supermarkets.

Agricultural authorities also have worked to increase the proportion of large-scale growers to better control food quality.

The city has 2.7 million acres of land used for growing vegetables, and nearly half is owned by large-scale producers. More than 150 farms have been selected to provide safe food to the 2010 World Expo.

"We are not wiping out those smaller growers," said Chen. "They just need more regulation."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend