Kerala beware: Banned lethal pesticide ‘Profenofos’ found in grapes, apples
Kochi: The residue of chemical pesticides has been found in vegetables, fruits and spices in a study jointly conducted by the agriculture department and the Agricultural University from January to June this year.
Pesticide residue was traced in about 20.12 percent vegetables and 28 percent fruits collected from public markets. About 90 percent of the pesticides traced in vegetables were not recommended for that particular vegetable.
The highly lethal pesticide Profenofos banned in Kerala was found in apple and green chillies. All three pesticides traced in apples were not recommended for it. Eight pesticides not recommended for cumin seed and fennel seed were traced from one sample of each.
Green grapes contains the highest quantity of pesticide residue in fruits. Among the 8 types of pesticides traced in green grapes, all others except for Carbendazim were not recommended for grapes. This also includes Profenafos.
No pesticide residue was found in the crops collected from organic vegetable stalls and eco shops. Also produce directly collected from farmers were free of pesticide content. The vegetables produced in Kerala are much safer than the ones sold in the public markets.
- Conduct awareness programmes for farmers.
- Ensure participation of farm workers also.
- Markets should be regulated strictly.
- Samples collected from organic sales points contained more pesticide residue. This has to be brought to the attention of food safety officials.