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France: Grape, celery top contaminated fruit, vegetable

FruitsBy Hajer M’tiri,

Paris: Nearly three quarters of fruits and 41 percent of non-organic vegetables consumed in France bear traces of pesticide residues, with grape and celery having the highest amounts, a report said on Tuesday.

The report is published by the French NGO Generations Futures, which campaigns against pesticides.

It is based on data from the General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), which analyzed representative samples of 19 fruits and 33 vegetables.

“For fruits, we found, on average, the presence of pesticide residues in 72.6 percent of the samples analyzed,” according to the report.

In 2.7 percent of cases, these residues were above the authorized limits by the European Union.

On average, 89 percent of the grape samples had pesticide brands, 88.4 percent for clementines or mandarins and 87.7 percent for cherries.

As for vegetables, 41.1 percent had traces of pesticides and 3.5 percent of the samples showed residues above the maximum limits.

The samples of celery had the most traces of pesticides (84.6 percent), followed by fresh herbs (74.5 percent) and endives (72.7 percent).

The report also warned of the presence of several pesticides in the same product known as “the cocktail effect”, under which the toxicity of pesticides increases when combined than alone.

In 2016, nearly 40 percent of the examined fruit and vegetable samples contained more than two pesticides, according to the report.

—AA

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