Report: Dramatic rise in pesticides in EU fruits, vegetables

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The pollution of fruits and vegetables produced in the EU by some of the most toxic pesticides has increased significantly over the past decade, new research says.

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BRUSSELS – The pollution of fruits and vegetables produced in the European Union by the most toxic pesticides has increased significantly over the past decade, according to new research published on Tuesday.

The study by the Pesticide Action Network Europe group states that European citizens have faced a “dramatic increase” in both the frequency and intensity of pesticide residues.

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The European Union has strict rules related to pesticides and previously said it wants to halve their use by 2030 as part of its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by mid-century.
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Contrary to figures from the EU’s executive branch showing a 12% reduction of more dangerous pesticides in 2019 compared to the 2015-2017 period, the “Forbidden Fruits” report claims that their use has actually increased by 8.8%. happened.

The European Commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The most dangerous belong to the so-called group of candidates for pesticide replacement that the commission has marked as problematic to member states and should be replaced with less toxic substances. Some of them have been linked to an increased risk of developing cancer, heart problems and other serious diseases.

“The use of the most dangerous pesticides in Europe is actually rising, not falling. Laws are being ignored and consumers are being exposed to a rising tide of chemical exposure,” the researchers said.

A total of 97,170 fruit samples were included in the analysis for 2011-2019. Starting at a contamination rate of 18% in 2011, this increased to 29% in 2019, with contamination increasing by an average of 53% over nine years. While kiwi fruits were nearly free of those substances 10 years ago, about a third are now contaminated, and half of all cherry samples were tainted in 2019, compared to 22% in 2011.

According to research, half of the pears produced in Europe were contaminated with five such substances, and for pears grown in Belgium the figure reached 87%.

The group said member states should immediately ban the 12 most toxic candidates for replacement and asked the European Commission to ensure that replacement guidelines are reviewed independently by the end of the year.

Credit: abcnews.go.com /

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