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Report: Food Samples Contain Alarming Pesticide Residue Levels

Kerala, leading the national food safety index, faces a cautionary report from the department of agriculture. The report, part of the ‘Safe to Eat Project,’ reveals high pesticide residue levels in food samples collected from the open market. Between October 2022 and March 2023, lab tests at the Pesticide Residue Research and Analytical Laboratory of Vellayani Agricultural College detected pesticides in 35.64% of the 679 samples.

Out of the tested food articles, 242 samples (35.64%) were found to contain poisonous substances, according to the Department of Agriculture’s report. The inspection covered vegetables (32.31%), fruits (44.2%), spices (66.67%), dried fruits (50%), and other food items (14.28%).

Remarkably, 44.8% of open market samples and 48.21% from organic-vegetable markets contained poisonous substances, while direct purchases from farmers showed lower levels at 21.73%. Spices, in particular, had a higher presence of pesticides.

The report highlights the presence of non-recommended and highly toxic pesticides and fungicides like acefate, monocrotophos, acetamiprid, chlorantraniliprole, tebuconazole, trifloxystrobin, and ethion in a significant number of food articles. These findings raise serious concerns about food safety and the potential health risks associated with pesticide-contaminated products.


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