28 Jul 2010

Concern at chemicals found on produce

9:09 pm on 28 July 2010

The Food Safety Authority has found higher than permitted pesticide levels as well as traces of a banned chemical in some fresh produce, such as bok choi, cucumbers and oranges.

A study is carried out twice a year by the authority, which tests samples of locally produced and imported crops for excessive levels of agricultural chemicals.

In the latest study, 10 out of 23 samples of bok choi contained fungicides or insecticides over the allowable limit, while some cucumber and bok choi samples also contained the banned chemical endosulfan.

Though a number of samples were found to have exceeded the maximum residue limit, and some contained traces of the banned chemical endosulfan, the authority says there are no health and safety problems.

It says none of the chemicals found, including endosulfan, was at a level that could cause harm to those who ate the produce.

However, the Pesticide Action Network and Soil and Health Association are calling for the authority to begin an urgent investigation.