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Greenpeace: Fruit and vegetables are still heavily contaminated with pesticides
According to a recent study by the environmental protection organization Greenpeace, fruit and vegetables are still heavily contaminated with pesticides. Fresh goods that are produced outside the European Union (EU) are particularly affected. Limit values would rarely be exceeded within the EU.
EU fruit and vegetables often contain fewer pesticides According to analyzes by Greenpeace, fruit and vegetables produced in conventional cultivation are still frequently contaminated with pesticides. Plant protection products were found in around 80 percent of the fruit examined and in more than 55 percent of the vegetable samples. This was announced by the environmental protection organization on Monday. For their guide “Eating Without Pesticides”, experts examined 22,000 samples from German food surveillance from 2009 and 2010, which were re-evaluated and supplemented with data from the pesticide tests.
According to the analyzes, food from Germany often gave good results. They are usually less stressed. This also applies to fruit and vegetables from other EU countries. Greenpeace said that significantly less pesticide residues were found compared to the product tested in 2007. For fruit, the maximum level of pesticides permitted in the EU was exceeded in 3.1 percent of the samples and for vegetables in 4.8 percent of the cases.
Fruit and vegetables from Turkey particularly heavily contaminated with pesticides Fruit and vegetable samples from Turkey, the country of production, clearly exceeded the maximum permitted for pesticides in the EU. Pears, table grapes, grapefruit, peppers and zucchini are particularly affected. Greenpeace said that exotic goods such as okra and chili peppers from India and Thailand were also heavily contaminated. High levels of pesticides were also found in lettuce from Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy. The environmental protection organization assessed a third of all products as not recommended.
Pesticides, which are pesticides and biocides in pest control, not only harm undesirable pests but also the human organism. They can affect both the immune system and the hormone balance. They can also trigger cancer and damage the nervous system.
According to Greenpeace, many of the food samples contained a cocktail of different chemicals. Table grapes from Turkey took the sad top position. 24 pesticides were detected in them. Growers often choose a combination of different pesticides so as not to exceed the maximum permitted levels of individual chemicals. So far, pesticides have only been considered individually in the EU, Greenpeace explained. The entire pesticide cocktail of a product had to be taken into account urgently in order to protect consumers from the toxic chemical lobes.
Organic products are mostly unencumbered Greenpeace primarily advises consumers on organically produced goods. This is mostly unencumbered. Only a few pesticides are used in organic farming and their active ingredients are natural substances that are significantly less harmful to health. Organic farmers also use beneficial organisms, control weeds mechanically instead of using the chemical club and take into account optimal crop rotations, the guide says "Eating without pesticides". Consumers should also pay attention to the type of fruit and the country of origin. Around 70 percent of the fruit and vegetables sold in Germany come from imports. Different chemicals are used in the different producing countries. Greenpeace therefore recommends seasonal products from the region. The time of harvest also plays a role. Conventional crops such as peppers and tomatoes contained more pesticides at the beginning of the harvest than a few weeks later to speed up ripening depending on the weather. Greenpeace points out that fruits and vegetables should always be washed thoroughly. At least some of the pesticides can be removed in this way. Consumers should remove the outer leaves of cabbage and lettuce, the guide says. (ag)
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Image: Birgit H. / pixelio.de