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Organically Grown Foods are Tested for Pesticide

Organically Grown Foods are Tested for Pesticide


Organically Grown Foods are Tested for Pesticide

Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)

In 2020, it was reported that more than 343 samples of plant-based food were tested for pesticides and other such contaminants. As compared to others, organic fresh fruit and vegetables were reported to have fewer fatal substances than normally grown produce. In fact, in more than sixty-eight per cent of the samples that were tested for pesticides, there were no harmful substances that were found.

Conventional fruit, on the other hand, contained an average of 0.44 mg/kg of pesticide residues (excluding surface treatment agents, phosphonic acid and bromide), while conventional vegetables contained an average of 0.29 mg/kg of pesticide residues (excluding phosphonic acid and bromide). This higher level of pesticide residues is due to the use of synthetic chemical pesticides permitted in conventional cultivation, as residues in the treated crops are often unavoidable after their application. A dense set of regulations, therefore, ensures that these residues do not pose a risk to consumers, provided that the applicable maximum levels are not exceeded.

Overall, the complaint rate of pesticides for all fresh organic products has stabilized at a low level in recent years and has decreased significantly over the course of 19 years of organic monitoring. In 2020, 2 out of 66 samples of organic fruit (3.0%; bananas from Ecuador and the Dominican Republic) and 3 out of 139 samples of organic vegetables (2.2%; garlic from Spain, coriander and parsley leaves from Germany) were found to be misleading because of elevated pesticide residues. This results in an overall complaint rate of 2.4% for organic fresh produce for the year under review.

This rate for processed pesticide products has been constant between 2.2% and 7.0% in recent years. However, it should be noted here that different priorities are set for processed organic products from year to year, as well as targeted, short-term projects are carried out, and that this product group has only come increasingly into focus in recent years. The complaint rate is therefore only comparable to a very limited extent between the reporting years and also overall in the course of the eco-monitoring.