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Monitoring urged over pesticides on fruit
Latest Updated by 2006-06-13 11:03:40
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Three food retailers in Guangzhou are being urged to improve the monitoring of pesticides on fruit and vegetables at its stores after tests found high levels of the chemicals.

Greenpeace carried out the study on outlets of Vanguard, ParknShop and Carrefour in Guangzhou over a six-month period from November last year.

Eighty-five per cent of the vegetable and fruit samples were found to contain pesticide residues, while 25 per cent had traces of illegal pesticides.

According to Greenpeace, 14 per cent of the samples contained residues higher than the national standard, which was introduced in 2003.

Xue Guangjian, an official from the environmental protection organization, said: "As the biggest vegetable and fruit retailers in the market, the three supermarkets should bear responsibilities to ensure food safety for consumers."

According to Xue, vegetables and fruit containing excessive levels of pesticide residues present health risks for consumers, including acute and chronic poisoning.

He added long-term consumption of products containing residues was "highly risky."

Vanguard was found to have the biggest problem with pesticide residues on products at its stores, according to the study.

Twenty-five per cent of its samples contained levels of residues above the national standard, while 38 per cent were contaminated with illegal pesticides.

"The problem was caused by an inefficient monitoring system at the supermarkets," Xue said.

In response to the survey, Vanguard admitted that most of its stores in the city had not implemented efficient monitoring measures on products.

"We only conduct sample testing of vegetables and fruits," said an official, who declined to be named, from the public relations department with the company.

Carrefour and ParknShop have testing facilities only at some of their stores.

"The results reflected that pesticide residues are avoidable depending on the policy and control system established by supermarkets," Xue said.

Li Changfang, director of the monitoring department of the Guangdong Institute for the Control of Agrochemicals, also said strict controls over pesticide use on vegetables and fruit should be implemented.

"Li said it was hard to say whether other retailers in the city also had excessive levels of pesticide residues on vegetables and fruit.

Editor: Yan

By: Qiu Quanlin Source: China Daily Website
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