5 October 2000
‘Bugs thrive on fruit pesticides’

By FWi staff

UNWASHED fruit and vegetables sprayed with pesticide could be responsible for introducing food poisoning, reports The Independent.

Canadian researchers found that found that bugs such as salmonella, listeria and E.coli 0157 can thrive alongside some fungicides and pesticides used on raw fruit.

Greg Blank, who led the University of Manitoba team, told New Scientist magazine that fruit should get a good scrub before being eaten.

But the research was criticised by Ross Dyer, technical manager of the Crop Protection Agency in Britain.

He told The Independent that contaminated water rather than pesticides themselves could cause the problems.

The same newspaper reports that wheat growing near the stricken Chernobyl power station in the Ukraine has six times the genetic damage of other plants.

Scientists believe this may indicate that ionising radiation is far more damaging to the genetic make-up of plants than was previously thought.

Livestock on some British farms contaminated with radiation from the 1986 nuclear accident is still declared unfit to eat.