Irish Probe Causes Organic Panic
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
A three-way investigation is under way following the discovery of pesticide residues in organic produce imported into the Irish Republic.
Four out of 45 samples of organic fruit and vegetables tested by Department of Agriculture inspectors – almost 10 % - had traces of pesticides. The produce included grapefruit, lemon and courgettes from Spain and lettuce from France. According to the Irish inspectors, the levels of contamination found were within the limits permitted for conventional fruit and vegetables, and posed no health risk. But with imports accounting for 70 % of the organic produce eaten in the Republic, local growers were quick to point out that the discovery of any chemical residue could undermine consumer confidence.
The Irish findings have now been passed to the relevant Spanish and French regulatory bodies, as well as to the EU authorities in Brussels. Separate investigations are under way in an effort to establish how the contamination occurred, and whether the production or processing systems were to blame. Ironically, in the Irish tests conventional fruit and vegetables fared much worse than organic, with half of the samples found to contain traces of no fewer than 55 different pesticides.