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Friday, 30 September 2005 12:32
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
Pesticides found in a third of foods
Government research has revealed that a third of the foods we eat contain traces of pesticides, although most fall within the legal limits.

Some 3,854 products were analysed, including fruit, vegetables, meat, fish bread and drink, with 31 per cent containing chemicals.

The Pesticide Residues Committee said it was reassuring that only one per cent of the samples contained more than the legal limit of chemicals.

Of the 42 samples above the legal limit, 39 were fruit or vegetables. The report said that washing or peeling fruit and vegetables before use was important to reduce the risk.

Dr Ian Brown, chairman of the committee, said on the BBC News website: "People should not be concerned by very low pesticide residues in our food.

"Our findings indicate that food suppliers are ensuring a high rate of compliance with legislation relating to the use of pesticides."

A spokeswoman from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: "We would always advise you to wash fruit or cook vegetables when necessary to reduce any risk from pesticides.

"With some produce, oranges for instance, removing the outer layer immediately limits exposure."

Barbara Dinham, director of the Pesticide Action Network, said: "The fact that only about 1% of the samples had levels above legal limits is to be welcomed.

"However, we would like to see more precautionary measures and a downward trend.
"Some pesticides have an accumulative effect and can be damaging to health."


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