Unapproved pesticides in lettuce & arugula

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Greenpaece: Unapproved pesticides in lettuce & rocket
The environmental organization Greenpeace had commissioned a laboratory to examine rocket and lettuce from supermarkets and discounters. Residues of harmful pesticides were found in 29 of 36 samples.

Environmentalists consider 11 out of 21 lettuce and 4 rocket salads to be “not recommended”. In one case, Greenpeace even filed a criminal complaint because the acute reference dose (ARfD) of a pesticide was exceeded, which can be particularly dangerous for children when eating the affected product.

In addition, active ingredients were found in the controlled products that are not permitted in the European Union (EU). It is scandalous that the substance Tolclofos-Methyl, which acts as a nerve poison, was also detected. Pesticides that exceeded the legally permitted maximum doses were found in 3 samples. According to Greenpeace, such a product should not appear in the trade at all.

In addition, greatly increased nitrate levels were found in many cases. These substances are able to transform themselves into carcinogenic nitrosamines in our organism.

Manfred Santen, chemical expert from Greenpeace, states that with only one lettuce and three rocket salads from conventional cultivation too few are unpolluted. He points out that in winter, leafy salads are mostly overfertilized and heavily sprayed in greenhouses. In his opinion, they are therefore considered to be risk products at this time of the year.

It is also worrying that in order not to exceed the maximum levels for a substance, whole “cocktails” of pesticides would be used. The laboratory commissioned by Greenpeace found up to 25 different pesticides on several lettuce leaves. With some types of rocket, up to six.

The organic varieties examined were far less contaminated or not at all. That is why Greenpeace is also taking up an old natural medicine demand that there should be more organic types of the affected salads in supermarkets and discounters. This measure alone could, if you look at the appalling results of the Greenpeace investigation, be a decisive step in health prophylaxis. (Thorsten Fischer, naturopath osteopathy, 02/03/2010)

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