Pesticide residue on fresh vegetables sold in Beijing’s markets is a big problem, according to a survey covering three of China’s biggest cities. And it’s not just one pesticide, but many. About 40 percent of the 53 vegetable samples collected from markets in Beijing and neighboring areas, which supply vegetables to Beijing, contained five or more kinds of pesticide residue, according to the survey. Results of the survey were released by Greenpeace, the international environmental protection organization, earlier this week…Full Article: China Daily Jan 2015

Key Point

  • According to Greenpeace, the most contaminated vegetables were tomatoes, cabbages, and cucumbers. In general, fresh produce sold in Beijing (origin from Shandong and Hebei) and Guangzhou had a higher contamination rates than Shanghai.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In August 2014, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and the National Health and Family Planning Commission issued new/stricter maximum allowable residue (MRL) standards that covered 387 pesticides on 284 different types of food. The new standards covered juice and preserved fruits for the first time ever, in addition to vegetables, fruits, grain, edible oil, sugar, soft drinks, nuts, eggs, and meat.
  • In June 2014, Vietnam notified China that fruit and vegetable imports from Guangxi, Yunnan and Shanghai contained excessive amounts of pesticide residue.
  • In May 2013, farmers in Shandong province were found to be using an illegal and highly toxic pesticide to grow ginger. One result was that Vietnam stepped up ginger inspections even though it does not undergo food safety tests since import volumes are generally so low.
  • In 2012, aldicarb (used to control nematodes and insect pests) was suspected in the deaths of 13 people in Anhui province after they reportedly ate cucumbers laced with the pesticide.
  • In 2012, apple producers in Shandong province were accused of wrapping apples in pesticide-coated paper to maintain its appearance.

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