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25 April 2007 | Printer friendly

UK: Toxic alert over our fruit

Toxic alert over our fruit is the title of the article that has been recently published by Graham Hiscott in Daily Express. It outlines that TOXIC chemicals have been found on fruit given to schoolchildren every day in Britain under a Government healthy-eating scheme. The initiative, which reaches two million children in 16,000 schools, is part of a national effort to combat obesity.

Tests clearly indicated that three quarters of the samples are contaminated with potentially harmful pesticides although none at illegal levels.

NGOs alert that there are still many unanswered questions about the safety of pesticides. Georgina Downs, of UK Pesticides Campaign, said: "The Pesticide Residue Committee continues to maintain that there are no safety concerns for children in relation to pesticide residues found in foods. Yet samples often contain multiple residues of different chemicals.”

Studies have linked pesticide exposure to cancer and damage to the nervous and hormone systems. In particularly children are vulnerable to chemical exposure as their body is still developing.

In response to the findings officials argued that none of the fruit and vegetables tested exceeded the minimum residue level and the Pesticide Residue Committee concluded that none of the residues found was likely to result in any adverse health effects for schoolchildren.

Peter Melchett, policy director at the Soil Association commented that even if the samples were not above the official maximum residue levels they could be harmful due to the so called ’cocktail effect’. This means that apparently safe levels of pesticides in combination can affect our bodies in ways that chemicals in isolation do not. To read the entire article

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