6 September 2001
Pesticide levels exceed legal limits

By FWi staff

PESTICIDE residues in some fruit and vegetables repeatedly exceed legal limits, claims a survey by the Consumers Associations Which? Magazine.

The report, which receives extensive coverage in The Guardian and Daily Mail, will raise fresh fears over food safety.

Analysis of government tests results from the past four years found that in 2000, 56% of lettuces had residues, 17% of which were above legal limits.

One lettuce tested by the Pesticides Residue Committee contained eight types of different chemical including an unapproved organophosphate.

The study found in 1999, 67% of grapes contained detectable pesticide residues and 7% of these were over the Maximum Residue Level or MRL.

Helen Parker, editor of Which?, said pesticide levels in some foods had broken legal limits and it was best to limit intake of pesticides.

While most food contain no detectable residues, others consistently contain residues, and some exceed the legal limit, she said.

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