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French study finds pesticides in 72% of fruits, 41% vegetables

Staff Writer |
According to a study by a French environmental organization that cites official figures, traces of pesticides have been detected in a large proportion of non-organic fruits and vegetables sold across the country, in some cases exceeding legal safety limits.

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Générations futures said in its report, published four days prior to the Paris Salon de la Agriculture trade show, it had detected 72.6 percent of fruits and 41.1 percent of vegetables sold in France contained pesticide residues.

“This report was prepared using the official database produced by France’s Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF),” the report said.

The organization said that in all, 19 fruits and 33 vegetables were studied to provide the data and in some cases, 2.7 percent of fruit and 3.5 percent of greens exceeded legally permitted safety limits.

The report was based on a research that took place from 2012-2016 and undertaken by the Ministry of Economy’s directorate.

Générations futures called on the French government to adopt “prompt and efficient measures to promote organic farming” and to “strongly reduce pesticide use” in conventional farming.

According to the study, “the fruits showing the highest levels of pesticides were grapes, with traces found in 89 percent of all samples.”

Next were mandarins and clementines with 88.4 percent and cherries with 87.7 percent.

Others pesticide residues exceeding 80 percent of all samples included grapefruit, strawberries, peaches, and apples.

The fruit with the lowest level of residues were avocados on 23 percent, kiwis at 27 percent and plums at 35 percent.

Nearly 7 percent of cherries showed pesticide concentration levels above the legal limit, along with mangoes and papayas, at five percent.

The vegetable samples topping the pesticide list were celery with 84 percent, endives on 73 percent and lettuces at 71 percent.

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