Sat, Sep 15, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Tests reveal pesticides on food: Greenpeace Taiwan

SAFETY CONCERNS:Greenpeace has urged supermarkets to take products that might contain residues of pesticide off the shelves

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Greenpeace Taiwan’s agriculture project manager Tsai Szu-ting shows an assortment of vegetables during a press conference in Taipei yesterday. Tsai said test results showed 12 of 17 fruit and vegetable samples contained pesticide residues, while the residue levels of five samples exceeded the regulated safety limits, and five samples contained at least three types of pesticide residues.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

More than three out of four samples of fruit and vegetables purchased at supermarkets and wholesalers contained residues of pesticide, while 29 percent contained residue levels that exceeded regulated safety limits, Greenpeace Taiwan said yesterday.

Earlier last month, Greenpeace called for volunteers to participate in a random sampling test on fruit and vegetables sold in the country’s markets, to which nearly 1,000 people signed up, the organization said.

Four participants from Taipei, Miaoli County, Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung were chosen for the tests. Members of the organization accompanied the participants to their usual supermarkets and wholesalers and bought the same products as the volunteers. The products were then sent to a third-party laboratory for testing.

Greenpeace Taiwan’s agriculture project manager Tsai Szu-ting (蔡絲婷) said the test results showed 12 of the 17 samples contained pesticide residues, while the residue levels of five samples exceeded the regulated safety limits, and five samples contained at least three types of pesticide residue.

She said tests showed that the sampled sweet peppers purchased at a Wellcome supermarket were found to contain 10 different types of pesticide residues — two of which (famoxadone and difenoconazole) were prohibited on fruit and vegetables by law, and the residue level of one type of pesticide (kresoxim-methyl) exceeded the regulated safety limit by 10 times.

The organization said other samples that contained high levels of pesticide residue were string beans purchased at a Pxmart wholesaler, Kyoho grapes purchased at Pxmart, lemons purchased at Wellcome and carrots bought at a Matsusei supermarket

“We urge the supermarkets to take those products that contain hazardous pesticides off the shelevs,” Tsai said.

In response, Pxmart said it has sent the products in question for testing and intends to request that the producers provide proof that their products do not contain excessive amounts of pesticide residue.

Matsusei said it has taken the products in question off the shelves and would ask the producers to re-examine the products and provide proof that their products do not contain excessive amounts of pesticide residue.

Wellcome, meanwhile, said that while it has taken the sweet peppers off its shelves, its own tests suggested that its products did not contain residue levels that exceed regulated safety limits.

Additional reporting by Staff writer

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