Shoppers to get better information on pesticides

28 April 1998

Shoppers to get better information on pesticides

By Trevor Mason, Press Association

CONSUMERS are to be given more information on products tested for pesticide residues under a move announced by the Government last night.

The brand names of thousands of tested products would be made public along with their individual test results, Food Safety Minister Jeff Rooker disclosed in a Commons written reply.

The change was aimed at “improved openness and information” for
shoppers, he said.

“I believe the new arrangements will allow consumers to make a more informed choice about the food that they buy.”

Mr Rooker commented in a statement: “Britains food surveillance programme is one of the best in the world.

“These tests will help to expose those growers who break the rules by using the wrong types of pesticides or too much pesticide.

“If the wrong types of pesticides are used, enforcement action is taken. In the worst cases, growers can be, and are, prosecuted.

Up to 4,000 samples are gathered every year and subjected to up to 80,000 separate tests for pesticide residues in foods ranging from milk and potatoes to fruit and cereals.

  • The Daily Telegraphreports today (28 April) that foods containing excessive traces of pesticides will be “named and shamed”. Growers will not be named, but supermarkets and other major retailers whose brand names fail the tests are expected to take action against rogue farmers. Growers will, however, would be prosecuted in the worst cases.

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