March 2, 2018

France: Traces of pesticide in 75% of vegetables and 41% of fruits

According to a report published by the NGO Générations Futures, almost three quarters of non-organic fruits and 41% of non-organic vegetables contain measurable quantities of pesticides. The data is based on 19 fruit and 33 vegetable samples between 2012-2016. 72.6% of the fruit contained pesticide residue, in 2.7% of which the residue was higher than the authorised levels.

On average, 89% of the grapes contained traces of pesticides, 88.4% of clementines and mandarins and 87.7% of cherries. Cherries in particular contained higher levels than authorised (6.6% of samples) and mangoes and papayas (4.8%).

41.1% of vegetables contained traces of pesticides and 3.5% of the samples were above the limit. Celery contained the highest traces of pesticides (84.6%), followed by fresh herbs (74.5%) and chicory (72.7%). Fresh herbs were the most above the authorised limits (29.4% of samples), followed by celery (16%).

Générations Futures has underlined that the results only concern “measurable” pesticide residues and do not take into account all of the residue present. Following a first series of failed attempts, the government has made a plan to reduce phytopharmaceutical products in agriculture. Producers want to launch their own “zero pesticide residue” label which will permit no more than 0.01mg of pesticide per kilo. However, Générations Futures is not satisfied with this solution as they do not “guarantee an absence of pesticide usage” and do not “erase environmental pollution”.


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