Pesticide Traced in Most French Fruits, Vegetables

Pesticide Traced in Most French Fruits, VegetablesPesticide Traced in Most French Fruits, Vegetables

Almost three-quarters of fruit and more than two-fifths of non-organic vegetables contain traces of pesticide in France, with grapes and celery the most affected, a report said on Tuesday.

Samples of 19 fruits and 33 vegetables were studied in the report by Generations Futures, a French environmental group that campaigns against pesticide and GMOs, using 2012-16 data from consumer protection agency DGCCRF.

"For fruit, we found that on average pesticide residue was present in 72.6% of the samples analyzed," the group said in a statement, with 2.7% of those cases exceeding the authorized limit, AFP reported.

The report found that 89% of the grapes sampled contained traces of pesticide followed by 88.4% of clementines and mandarins, and 87.7% for cherries.

For vegetables, 41.1% of the samples were found to have traces of pesticides, with 3.5% above the official limit.

Celery had the most pesticide traces of any vegetable with 84.6% affected, ahead of fresh herbs at 74.5% and endives at 72.7%.

The DGCCRF data only included residue that could be quantified, which means some pesticide traces went unreported.

"The results actually ignore some of the residues present," Generations Futures said.

France is Europe's biggest food producer and the government has announced plans to reduce the use of all pesticides.

Fruit and vegetable growers have pushed for a label for "zero pesticide residue", distinct from organic, for produce that contains no more than 0.01 mg of pesticide per kilogram.

Generations Futures said this solution was not enough because although "these offers guarantee an absence of pesticide use" they do not "eliminate environmental pollution".


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