Indian Government Releases Report on Pesticide Residue in Foods

February 4, 2015 by Drader

Among the unintended consequences of chemical pesticides for crop protection, is the residue that remains on various crops. This, of course, is cause for concern as pesticides are by their very nature designed to kill pests.

On February 3, 2015, the Indian government released a report in theĀ Economic Times detailing high levels of pesticide residue in vegetables, fruits, spices, rice, and wheat. India has been monitoring chemical pesticide residues in foods since 2005 as part of the central scheme ‘Monitoring of Pesticide Residues at National Level’ operational since 2005. The current report details pesticide residue levels in food items for the year 2013-14.

Another report released by Crop Care Federation of India in December 2014 said one-third of organic products sold in the national capital in the last two years were loaded with pesticides.

Nearly one billion tons of chemical pesticides are used in the United States each year. Like India, the US government also monitors residual pesticides in foods. In response to consumer concerns, the US Department of Agriculture and the FDA publish a list of the “Dirty 12” – fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of residual pesticides. Rounding out the top five are apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, and spinach. The top five cleanest are onions, sweet corn, pineapples, avocados, and asparagus. However, the government agencies are quick to point out that consumers should not stop eating certain fruits and vegetables, but should take care in thoroughly washing fresh produce.

The unintended consequences of chemical pesticides is one of the drivers behind the growth of biologic-based pesticides such as the ones being developed by EcoPesticides. Unlike traditional chemical pesticides, our “green” pesticides are insect specific, using naturally occurring fungi to stop crop damage by pests. These biologic pesticides #ProtectWithoutHarm to the environment nor do they leave harmful residual chemicals on food.

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