Agricultural authorities in Beijing are investigating reports that excessive amounts of herbicide residue have been detected in strawberries grown in the capital’s suburban areas, and farmers were hit by a slump in sales amid consumer fears. China Central Television reported on Sunday [26 April 2015] that eight strawberry samples purchased from supermarkets, plantations and wholesale markets were found to have excessive amounts of acetochlor, an herbicide that can be carcinogenic when absorbed in large amounts…Full Article: China Daily Apr 2015

Key Points

  • As of 2015, China does not have any Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) standards for acetochlor residues on strawberries. The EU has a limit of 0.05 mg per kilogram, while the tests conducted in China revealed a residue levels ranging from 0.09 mg to 0.367 mg per kilogram.
  • As a result of the herbicide scandal, strawberry production has suffered in provinces of Shandong and Liaoning provinces.
  • China reportedly cultivates strawberries on 130,000 ha of land annually.

ChinaAg Comments

  • From 2000 to 2013, Chinese strawberry production increased from 1.1 million MTs to just over 3 million MTs.
  • In 2013, Hong Kong imported ~6,000 MTs of fresh strawberries.

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