Alarm at mixed pesticides in food

3 December 2001

Alarm at mixed pesticides in food

By Adrienne Francis

FOOD containing residues of more than one pesticide can be 10 times more toxic than individual chemicals, found researchers at Liverpool University.

The findings have prompted calls for the governments Pesticide Safety Directorate to review pesticide residue safety levels in food.

Dr Vyvyan Howard said the research suggested unborn children were vulnerable to brain damage from pesticides absorbed by their mothers.

The research will help renew calls for a revision of the official safety standards for food, according to the BBC programme Countryfile.

The European Commission is about to introduce a new law for baby food, which will set “blanket limits” on all pesticides, for the first time.

David Coggan, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides, told the BBC on Sunday (2 December) that more research was needed.

“The margins between the doses that people receive from eating foods and the levels of exposure that would cause health effects are so large.

“We would not expect, even where people are exposed to combinations of pesticides or other chemicals in their foods, that it would cause problems.”

Government monitoring shows that more then 40% of food contains pesticide residues, according to the BBC.

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