17 August 2001
M&S, Somerfield top residue league

By FWi staff

FRUIT and veg sold by Marks & Spencer and Somerfield contain the highest levels of chemical residues among leading stores, according to a new study.

A survey by Friends of the Earth found that 63% of Marks and Spencer fruit and veg, and 59% of Somerfields was found to carry residues.

In contrast, the environmental groups analysis of official government figures since 1998 found that less than 29% of Waitrose fruit and veg contained residues.

An M&S spokesman pointed out that the residue levels were still within permitted levels.

But he said the store aimed to cut pesticide use and intended to phase out all pesticides using 79 particular chemicals by January next year.

It will also join the Co-op as the second retailer to publish its own testing data on its website so consumers will be able to check on its progress.

Somerfield said that is also striving to reduce pesticide use in its products.

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