63% of non-organic fruit and vegetables sold in France contain pesticide residues

This is a more than alarming finding. In a new report, the NGO Future Generations reports that two-thirds of non-organic vegetables, fruits and grains contain pesticide residues above the detection limit. A presence that until then was largely underestimated, according to the organization. The latter calls for “contingency plan to reduce the use of pesticides” and “more support for organic farming”.

To prepare its report, the NGO relied on data from the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumers and Anti-Fraud (DGCCRF). She wished the institution’s effort to “progress in transparency”by providing results for the year 2020 on samples that now clearly distinguish between organic plants and those “from agriculture with synthetic chemistry”

Furthermore, the DGCCRF not only publishes results on residues above the “limit of quantification”, ie for which the laboratories can give the concentration, but also those above the “limit of detection, but not quantified”. “It now allows us to better see the presence of pesticide residues in foods of plant origin, which was previously underestimated”says Future Generations.

A majority of contaminated products

According to the NGO’s analysis, which is based on data from DGCCRF, 45.9% of all samples, both organic and non-organic, reveal pesticide residues above the limit of quantification. That is “on this one figure that the State usually communicated earlier”, emphasizes future generations. During a press conference, the spokesperson for the association François Veillerette was surprised that for two years “There is no government announcement from the DGCCRF about these figures”

The percentage increases to 54.5% when taking into account only non-biological products where residues above the limit of quantification are detected, and to 63.1% for residues in non-biological products above the limit of detection. The new DGCCRF working method currently does not allow comparing these figures over time.

An emergency plan to end harmful pesticides

“The report is not about risk assessment”, furthermore, Mr. Veillerette specified, a complex process that would require knowing consumers’ exposure. Maize “people want to eat food that does not contain dangerous chemicals”he adds.

Result of this research: Future generations demand a “emergency plan to reduce the use of pesticides” and “more support for organic farming”† The NGO regrets the European Commission’s delay in publishing the new regulation “on sustainable use of pesticides”below the “Busy”according to her,“of agricultural unions like the FNSEA and the position of states like France”

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