Presence of banned pesticide in dried chillis, cumin seeds
Kochi: Residue of the banned pesticide Profenofos has been found in dried chillis and cumin seeds brought from other states. The presence of the pesticide was also found in chilli powder, cardamom, cumin powder, Kashmiri chilli powder, coriander leaves, green capsicum, and curry leaves, in a test jointly conducted by the State Agriculture Department and the Agricultural University.
The results of the tests conducted on vegetables collected from various shops in the state were released the other day.
Profenofos was banned in Kerala in March 2011. It is rated as highly toxic and no shop can sell it. Products containing the residue of the pesticide also cannot be sold. However, the results of the tests conducted at the Agricultural College, Vellayani, prove that the ban is only on paper.
Profenofos is used on cotton. It is a translaminar pesticide that penetrates into the leaf and moves through the leaf tissue to protect the untreated side of the leaf. Kerala banned it as it was found to be a threat to public health.
The presence of Phorate, another banned pesticide, was found in yellow capsicum while Methyl Parathion was found in ajwain seeds.