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Pesticide level 'under control'

THE Shanghai Agriculture Commission has said the city's pesticide-residue testing standards suggest contamination of fruit and vegetables is generally under control.

The statement came in response to a report released by Greenpeace, a non-governmental organization, which claimed fruit and vegetables bought in supermarkets or wet markets in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou contained high levels of pesticide residue.

Fifty different pesticides were detected in the samples. Some tested fruit and vegetables contained the residues of up to 10 different pesticides. Only five of the 45 samples checked from December last year to February this year were free of pesticides.

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

Only two of the 45 samples checked by the organization contained pesticides that exceeded the state limit, by 4.4 percent, agriculture officials said.

The agriculture commission said the safety of local agriculture products is generally under control and the levels of pesticides in products are decreasing.

The agriculture authority has launched checks on 5,000 samples annually since 2006, and 98.1 percent of vegetables grown in local suburban areas passed checks last year.

Gu Zhenhua, director of the food supervision department of the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration, said local authorities have tightened inspections on pesticide residues and now require wet markets and supermarkets to do spot checks.

"Our inspections can't ensure the 100 percent safety of vegetables and fruit," he said. "But the situation is OK in the city. There has been no recent mass food poisoning case due to pesticide residue."


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