Monday, April 17, 2006

Pesticide Residues in Vegetables

Here's an unsettling item. In Hong Kong, Greenpeace found pesticide residues on vegetables sold at major supermarkets chains that significantly exceeded WHO standards, including some banned pesticides. (SMCP 4/18). In 30% of samples tested, residues of cypermethrin and Chlorpyrifos were found at levels of 1.2 to 12 times above WHO standards that Hong Kong follows. Some also contained banned pesticides DDT, lindane, delta-HCH and methamidophos. Most of the vegetables sold at the supermarket chains came from mainland China farms. Greenpeace's press release on this can be found at:

What's particularly unsettling to me is that it confirms many of the concerns I had about pesticide contaminated produce sold in Chinese markets while in Beijing last fall. If the controls in Hong Kong are insufficient to catch such problems, it is likely to be worse in the markets in mainland China. These findings also confirm how serious the problem of food safety is in China.

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