- Traces of pesticide were found in nearly half the fresh
fruit and vegetables sampled in spot checks by Government inspectors last
- The Ministry of Agriculture's Working Party on Pesticides
reported yesterday that residues were found in significantly more food
samples than in 1998. Most were in food imported from abroad.
- Those which caused the most concern were pears from Spain,
Holland and Belgium and sweet peppers from Spain. The working party said
even those foods with residues above the legal limits "were of no
health concern", due to huge safety margins built into the calculations.
- But Sandra Bell, food campaigner for Friends of the Earth,
attacked the findings. She said: "The public will be dismayed to learn
that almost half the fresh fruit and vegetables they are eating contains
- "The Government encourages people, including pregnant
women and babies, to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, so they should
be doing more to ensure that they are pesticide free.
- "It is also unacceptable for Government advisers
to say that pesticide residue levels are safe when "No one knows what
long-term effect pesticides may have."
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