Kerala beware! Not all foods sold under ‘Organic’ brand safe, reveals study

The study was conducted by Kerala Agricultural University.
Kerala beware! Not all foods sold under ‘Organic’ brand safe, reveals study
Kerala beware! Not all foods sold under ‘Organic’ brand safe, reveals study
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A report recently released by Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) has revealed that not all foods sold in the market under the brand ‘Organic’ are safe to eat.

The research team under KAU conducted tests by collecting samples from different districts. Samples were collected from the big supermarkets and shops where vegetables, fruits and other spices are sold under the brand ‘Organic’.

In the samples of vegetables collected from Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Thrissur, pesticides were found in curry leaves, mint leaves, shallots, bajji chillies, green chillies, capsicum and potatoes.

Bifenthrin, Chlorpyriphos, Dimethoate, Acetamiprid, Metalaxyl, Chlorantraniliprole, Tebuconazole, Iprovalicarb, Buprofezin, Dimethoate were the chemicals found in these samples.

While bajji chillies had presence of three pesticides, capsicum had six. All the samples were collected from shops that sold them under the tag 100% ‘Organic’ brand.

Surprisingly, in samples collected from Eco shops functioning under Krishi Bhavan (outlets under state Agriculture Department), bitter gourd samples were found to contain Bifenthrin.

Moovandan mangoes collected from such Eco shops also had Fenvalerate content.

Samples of spices collected from both organic and other stores also had considerable amount of chemicals. Ajwain, cardamom, chilli long dry, chilly powder, coriander powder, crushed chilli, cumin powder, cumin seed and Kasuri Mehti that are used on a daily basis, were found to contain pesticides.

Among two chemicals which were found in chilli powder, one was Triazophos, that is banned by the government. Cumin seeds which had presence of three chemicals, also contained a banned chemical Profenophos. Presence of more than one pesticide was recorded in almost all the other spices.

All the organic stores charge double as compared to the normal market rate, claiming that the products are fully organic and devoid of any chemical content.

If this is the situation of organic shops, vegetables and fruits available in the open market are worse off.

The study also gives data on pesticide content of fruits and vegetable samples collected from the market.

Samples collected from open market

Red spinach, Broad beans, Capsicum yellow, Chilli big, Coriander leaves, Curry leaves, Mint leaves, Parsley, Capsicum red and Baji chilli showed presence of pesticides. Profenophos, the banned chemical, was found in many of the samples. Thiometon, Hexaconazole, Hexaconazole, Azoxystrobin, Quinalphos and many other pesticides were found in the samples.

Fruits were also not spared. Apple royal gala, Apple ordinary, Grapes green(seedless), Grapes red globe, Passion fruit, plum and orange samples collected from the market had at least one pesticide in them. Acetamiprid, Carbendazim, Dimethoate, Imidacloprid were a few of the pesticides that were found. Samples of Red globe grapes that were collected had presence of four chemicals while green grapes had three.

Even the passion fruit which is easily available across Kerala was found to contain the chemical Carbendazim.

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