Related News

Home » Metro » Society

Local produce said to be laced with pesticides

LOCAL quality officials yesterday were reportedly checking the results of a study by an environmental group that found widespread traces of pesticides - including some that are banned - on fruit and vegetables sold in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing.

It was not clear, however, whether the levels exceeded government limits.

Shanghai's food and drug watchdog, meanwhile, said the key source of the problem may be the produce coming in from outside the city, which is difficult to regulate.

Pesticides, which have been linked to cancer and fertility problems as well as other serious long-term health consequences, were found to be used widely and heavily in the cities studied by the environmental group Greenpeace China.

Fifty different pesticides were detected in the samples, many showing two or more traces of the chemicals and some revealing up to 10. Only five of the 45 samples checked from December last year to February this year were found to be free of pesticides.

Among the positive samples, 33 showed pesticides linked to cancer and 38 samples had 15 pesticides that could affect fertility and child development, the environmental group said.

The sampling was done on common fruit and vegetables, including tangerines, strawberries, tomatoes, beans, cabbages and spinach.

But agricultural experts said the report revealed only the presence of pesticides and did not compare them to state limits.

Greenpeace China officials said the country lacks a comprehensive standard for pesticide use, especially one dealing with multiple chemicals.

"So we just announced the content of each pesticide found on each sample. No one can deny that the use of several different pesticides on one crop can be serious," said Luo Yuannan, a Greenpeace China official.

In Shanghai, 15 samples came from the Lotus and Nonggongshang supermarkets and Pudong's Jingdong wet market. Only three samples had no traces of pesticide residue.

All five samples from Lotus were found to have traces of more than three pesticides. Eleven pesticides were found on cow peas, including two banned pesticides - Carbofuran and Methamidophos - as well as the highly toxic Methomyl.

The situation was similar in Beijing and Guangzhou, according to the report.

The environmental group said it sent the report to the state and the three cities' quality inspection bodies, which have promised to follow up on the information.

Local retailers yesterday questioned the test results and said they conduct "quick" checks for pesticide residue every day.

But Gan Pingzhong, who works in the quality control department at Shanghai NGS Supermarket Group Co Ltd, admitted that the quick inspections are not able to detect all pesticides.


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