Eco monitoring: everything super except superfoods
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For 15 years eco monitoring has been carried out in the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg in addition to the annual farm inspections by the organic control agencies. The programme is unique in Germany and Europe as a whole.
The monitoring results for 2016 were good
Consumer minister Peter Hauk presented the results and called the programme a sensible supplement to organic controls. In 2016, the departments that investigate chemical and veterinary issues examined over 600 organic products for eco monitoring and found once again that the great majority of products are free from pesticides and genetic engineering.
In the 445 samples of plant foods from organic production 35 % were found to have traces of pesticide residues and 65 % were completely free of residues. In the case of fresh organic produce, the rejection level in 2016 was 1.1%, and from 2010 to 2015 between 1.0 and 4.2 %. The rejection level for processed products in 2016 was 5.5 % and related to a sample of pulses (chickpeas), 3 samples of tea (2x black tea, 1x green tea) and 6 samples of food supplements, all with high levels of plant protection agents that are not permitted in organic agriculture.
Superfoods are contaminated
However, in the case of two-thirds of samples of superfoods, the laboratories detected residues at rejection level. 18 samples of moringa, chia, wheat grass, barley grass and goji were examined and in a sample of moringa leaf powder they found 16 mg/kg of the insecticide active agent nicotine. The verdict was that the product was not safe. This product group is continuing to be investigated in 2017.