NEW DELHI:The Agriculture Ministry had collected vegetables, fruits, spices, red chilli powder, curry leaves, rice, wheat, pulses, fish/marine, meat and egg, tea, milk and surface water from retail outlets, Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) markets and organic outlets across the country.
Chew on this — government labs which analysed samples of vegetables, fruits, milk and other food items collected from various retail and wholesale outlets across the country have found residues of non-approved pesticides in them.
The Kerala Agricultural University, Vellayani, which collected 1,197 samples, found 26 per cent of them having measurable concentrations of one or more pesticides, while 7.9 per cent of all the samples were identified as having exceeded the MRL.
“Majority of the MRL exceedance (5.5%) was found in cardamom (spice) samples. Pesticide residues most frequently found above MRL in cardamom were of quinalphos. Concentrations of imidacloprid, cyhalothrin-l and chlorpyrifos were found exceeding the FSSAI’s MRL in the samples of vegetables, fruits and rice,” the report said.
The report added that 131 farm-gate samples were collected from Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Palakkad, Ernakulam, Kollam and Kasaragod. The analysis revealed that 27.5 per cent of the samples were detected with pesticide residues, while 4.6 per cent of the samples were found exceeding the MRL.
Similarly, at the Coimbatore Lab, of the 1,159 samples tested, 21.9 per cent had one or more pesticide concentration, while 2.7 per cent of samples were identified exceeding the MRL.“The majority of the MRL exceedance was found in cardamom (spice) samples. The pesticide residues most frequently found above MRL in cardamom were of quinalphos.
In Karnataka, the Bangalore centre had collected 796 samples. While 25.9 per cent of the samples analysed contained measurable residues, 2.8 per cent exceeded the MRL. The commonly detected pesticide residues which were found above MRL were of chlorpyrifos and ethion.
In 18 farm-gate samples (24.7%), the measurable residues were detected and one sample was found above MRL. While three organic samples (15.0%) were detected with pesticides residues, none of them exceeded MRL.
The Bangalore centre had collected the samples from K R Market, Hosur, Mandya, Yeshwanthapur, Malleswaram, Dasarahalli, Hesaraghatta, Chamarajpet, Banavara, Ramanagara.