Pesticides a major component of city's staple, reveals FSSAI report

HYDERABAD: A report published by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has revealed that essential edibles such as vegetables, fruits, grains and spices sold in outlets across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are laced with pesticides. In most cases, the items are said to contain pesticides which are not approved.
The report ‘Moniotring of Pesticide Residues at National level’, released on October 16, reveals that 40 per cent of samples collected in Hyderabad had pesticide residue with 2.5 per cent samples even exceeding the maximum limit. Curry leaves, spices and vegetables were revealed to be the worst when compared to prescribed standards with pesticides in them deemed to have been at a high level. The tests were carried out in two institutes in Hyderabad.

At National Institute of Plant Health Management Hyderabad, a total of 1,411 samples which includes vegetables, fruits, milk, pulses, rice, wheat, red chilli powder, curry leaves and surface water were tested. The samples were collected from Rajahmundry, Hyderabad, Sangareddy, Shadnagar, Tirupathi, Vijaywada, Visakhapatnam and Kurnool. In the analysis, researchers detected pesticide residues in 30 per cent of samples and one per cent of the samples exceeded the FSSAI’s maximum residual limits (MRL).
Interestingly, pesticide residues were also found in organic samples apart from samples collected from farms and markets. The most commonly detected pesticides were acephate, acetamiprid, azoxystrobin, carbendazim, imidacloprid and tebuconazole. Residues of difenoconazole in fruit samples, carbendazim and imidacloprid in rice samples and pyriproxyfen in red chilli powder samples exceeded the FSSAI’s MRL. Also found in samples were non approved pesticides like acephate.
At the Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University around 1,297 samples of various food commodities were collected and analysed. The samples were collected from Hyderabad, Kurnool, Kothapet, Mehidipatnam, Vijayawada, Karimnagar, Rajendranagar, Warangal and Tirupati. Residues were detected in 652 samples which is around 50 per cent of the total. Around 4 per cent of samples including vegetables, fruits, grains and spices were found exceeding FSSAI MRL.
“In spice samples, cardamom samples were found to have residues of quinalphos and cumin samples residues azoxystrobin and thiamethoxam, which exceeded FSSAI MRL,’ the report said .

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