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Pesticides in food revealed

Thursday 28 September 2006

applesA new report on pesticide residues has found a slight increase in the number of maximum permitted levels found in foods. The Pesticide Residues Committee (PRC) 2005 monitoring report revealed that while 68.1% of food samples tested contained no pesticide residues, 1.7% were found to have more than the legally allowed levels.

The foods that contained the high residual levels were mostly imported exotic fruits and vegetables. Despite the findings, the PRC has moved to quash any consumer concerns, noting that the various health benefits of the foods outweigh any dangers from residual pesticides.

“It is very important that people have confidence in the safety of our food and that we recommend speedy action if there is any cause for concern,” said Dr. Ian Brown, chairman of the committee.

On the foods that exceeded the maximum permitted levels, Dr. Brown added; “This is a higher percentage than in recent years, and is mainly because we have targeted certain exotic fruits and vegetables where residues are likely to be above these limits. We have carried out full risk assessments of these cases, which included looking at the most vulnerable people such as toddlers and infants. Most of the residues did not give us any concerns for the health of any group of people who might have eaten the foods.”

The study involved testing 3787 food samples, sourced from the UK and abroad. 98.3% of the products either did not contain any residual pesticides, or levels within the permitted threshold.

The report can be viewed at the  PRC website

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