View Full Version : Pesticide residue in organic garlic

Jun 23rd, 2006, 08:10 AM

Pesticide residue in organic garlic

Felicity Lawrence, consumer affairs correspondent
Friday June 23, 2006
The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/)

Garlic being sold as organic in Tesco has been found to contain pesticide residues in tests by the government's watchdog. It is the first time the Pesticide Residues Committee (PRC) has detected chemicals in produce claiming to be organic. The garlic, imported by Tesco from Spain, contained residues of carbendazim, a possible carcinogen and suspected hormone disruptor, which is listed by the Pesticide Action Network as one of the most troubling of pesticides in use. The residues were found at the maximum legal safety level set for non-organic produce.

The latest report from the committee, published yesterday, found that two-fifths of all the 1,247 samples tested contained residues and 25 contained residues over the legally permitted level. This is an increase on previous reports.

A separate survey by the PRC of fruit and vegetables supplied to schools as part of the government's five-a-day scheme also found that nearly three-quarters contained residues.
Exotic fruits in supermarkets, such as mangoes, contained above average residues. All samples of oranges tested contained residues, and although none were above the maximum levels permitted, 31 out of 36 samples contained residues of more than one pesticide, often organophosphates and carbamates that have similar mechanisms, and therefore may exhibit a cocktail effect.
The majority of apples on sale in shops tested contained residues. Apples from South Africa on sale in Asda and Tesco contained residues of dithiocarbamates that exceeded acute reference dose or short term safety intake for the under-sixes. Dithiocarbamate is one ofz the carbamate group of nerve poisons. The same residue was found in pears from the Co-op at levels that exceeded the acute reference dose for children under six.
Some samples of courgettes from Sainsbury's contained residues of the banned organochlorine dieldrin, but the committee said it was satisfied that the residues came from historic pollution. Dr Ian Brown, chairman of the committee, said most of the food sampled either contained no residues or residues in accordance with guidelines. "We are satisfied that the majority of the results give us no concern for consumer health," he said. Tesco said it was "disappointed that the PRC results highlighted products being outside accepted levels" and that it had taken action to tighten controls.

Jun 23rd, 2006, 08:25 AM
My plot neighbour at local allotments has just weedkillered the grass on the path between our plants. Quite worrying to find powder has blown onto your leaves too, you hope it is lime [calcium oxide, or hydroxide] but you know it could be fungicide, or some insecticide preparation that has been exhumed from a 50 year old shed.