Levels of pesticide residue exceeded regulatory limits in more than half of bean samples tested by the Consumers’ Foundation, it said yesterday.
The organization found that 20 of 39 samples of bean, including common beans, cowpeas, kidney beans, peas and snap peas, contained levels of pesticide residue higher than regulations allow, it told a news conference in Taipei.
Between September and October last year, the group collected and tested samples from hypermarkets, supermarkets, grocery stores, traditional markets and other retail outlets in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, it said.
Pesticide residues were found in two samples of common beans, though levels did not exceed the regulatory limits, while pesticide residue was detected in six of the eight cowpea samples, with one exceeding the permitted level, it said.
All 14 kidney bean samples were found to contain one to nine types of pesticides, with five exceeding the limit, and multiple pesticides were found in the eight pea samples, seven of which went above the limit, it said, adding that the pea samples contained two to 13 types of pesticide residue.
All seven snap pea samples exceeded regulatory limits, containing seven to 14 types of pesticide residues, it said.
Selling fruit and vegetables with levels of pesticide residues exceeding regulatory limits breaches Article 15 of the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法), the foundation said.
Under the law, contraveners face fines of NT$60,000 to NT$200 million (US$1,999 to US$6.66 million), it added.
Consumers should wash produce multiple times and not use a lid while cooking to help remove pesticides that might be present, it said.
Regulators should improve their method of collecting and sampling products, and provide better guidelines for pesticide use to improve product quality, it added.
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