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January 6, 2017

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Tesco’s spinach and Lotus celery fail tests

TWO batches of vegetables sold at Lotus and Tesco outlets in Shanghai were found to contain excessive pesticide residue, the city’s food watchdog said.

A batch of celery sold at the Chuanchang outlet of Lotus and supplied by Shanghai Jiangqiao Wholesale Market was found to contain 3.6 milligrams of chlorpyrifos residue per kilogram — 71 times above the national standard.

Chlorpyrifos is an insecticide that is toxic to humans, experts said. Its exposure has been linked to neurological effects and autoimmune disorders.

In addition, a batch of spinach sold at the Zhongshan Road N. outlet of Tesco and supplied by the supermarket’s Minhang branch was also found to contain excessive chlorpyrifos residue, 8.4 times higher than the maximum limit ruled by the standard, according to the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration.

Chlorpyrifos is allowed to be applied on vegetables as a pesticide, but the amount is subject to strict controls.

Failure in controlling the amount of pesticides used and picking and selling vegetables too soon after the use of pesticides are both causes of excessive chlorpyrifos residue.

Two batches of freshwater fish sold at the Jiangqiao outlet of Wal-Mart and supplied by Shanghai Yize Trade Co Ltd were found to contain excessive enrofloxacin residue, which were respectively 1.1 and 6.7 times above the national standard. Excessive exposure to enrofloxacin, an antibiotic, can lead to gastrointestinal reaction.

A batch of pastry flour made by Shanghai Rifen Food Co Ltd was found to contain excessive cadmium, while a batch of dried bean curd manufactured by Shanghai Zhengbiao Bean Products Factory failed for excessive aluminum residue. Exposure to a large amount of cadmium can lead to poisoning, while the consumption of excessive amounts of aluminum damages brain and nerve cells, doctors warned.

The administration has ordered district market supervision and management authorities to conduct investigations over these substandard foods and to punish those responsible, officials said.

The substandard food products have been taken off the shelves.

The administration checked 680 batches of food, and 10 were substandard, according to officials.


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