Various kinds of hazardous pesticide residue were found on fruits and vegetables sold in the nation’s main supermarket chains, including kumquats that had nine different kinds of pesticide residue and garlic chives containing pesticide exceeding legal standards, an environmental protection group said yesterday.
Greenpeace Taiwan said it commissioned a third-party laboratory to test 58 fruit and vegetable items sold at eight supermarket chains in December last year and found 36 kinds of pesticide residue on the items.
The test results showed that many items contained more than one kind of pesticide and “among the tested fruit and vegetable items, 25 contained at least three kinds of pesticide residue,” Greenpeace’s agriculture project manager Tsai Szu-ting (蔡絲婷) said.
The group’s report showed kumquats from a Wellcome supermarket in Taipei City contained nine kinds of pesticide residue, while eight kinds of pesticide residue were found on bok choy (Chinese cabbage) bought from an a.mart supermarket in Greater Taichung.
Although most of the residue levels did not exceed standard limits, Tsai said the mixture of various kinds of pesticides carried into a person’s body may have a combination effect that would cause damage to health.
The results also showed four illegal cases — garlic chives bought at a Carrefour store containing carbendazim residue of up to 2.7 parts per million (ppm). The allowed limit is 1ppm.
Other cases included the use of pesticides that are not allowed on products, including imidacloprid and dimethomorph on prunes, and tebuconazole on mustard and garlic chives.
In response to the garlic chives containing too much carbendazim, Carrefour public relations manager Ho Mo-chen (何默真) said: “The item was pulled off shelves in December last year. We have communicated with the suppliers to understand the pesticide problem.”
Greenpeace urged suppliers to stop using pesticides that are listed as highly hazardous and supermarkets to control the quality of fruits and vegetables.