Irregular use of pesticides in foods

Notícia publicada em:

  • 17 de Novembro de 2014
Victor Martins/Esp. CB/D.A Press – 6/3/08

Zucchini is the food that most presented irregularities

Survey released by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa)  made with a food group (see chart) shows that 25% of them contain irregularities concerning the use of pesticides. Of the 1. 397 samples analysed, in 21% the use of substances not authorised for cultivation was detected, 1.9% presented waste products at the level above the acceptable limit, and 1.9% had both problems. However, Anvisa considered 75% of the material satisfactory and 33% had no traces of pesticides, fungicides or similar traces.

Data are of the Review Program of Pesticide Residues in Foods (Para), conducted since 2001. In the study, which brings results of analyses in 2012, the food that presented the highest percentage of irregularities was the zucchini. Of 229 samples of vegetables, 45% were with pesticides not authorised for cultivation and 2.2% had a level above the permitted. Secondly, the lettuce, which 45% of 240 samples failed.

In none of the food it was observed the presence of banned pesticides, but there were remnants of products that were later disallowed. “We must evaluate to see if there is no such substances in Brazil”, said the Superintendent of  Toxicology from Anvisa, Silvia Cazenave.

The information disclosed yesterday complements the analysis of other foods made in 2012 with pineapple, rice, carrot, orange, apple, strawberry and cucumber. For them, the unsatisfactory samples index stood at 29%. According to Silvia, the goal of monitoring is to prevent the consumer and, mainly, the worker who is exposed to an extreme level of pesticides, which can cause poisoning. “The limits (swallowed) are calculated considering the people’s diet. Little pesticide in certain food can mean a larger intake being more consumed than others with less”, says.

The doctor of the Brazilian Center for Health studies (Cebes) Heleno Rodrigues Corrêa Filho, however, considers that the problem goes beyond the irregularity, but focuses on the simple presence of the product. “The fact of finding pesticides, either 1% or 50%, from the point of view of public health and consumer protection, is that we’re eating what you shouldn’t. The trace of the substance may exert an effect that no clinical examination can detect and are  not related to degenerative diseases and emergence of cancer in young people”, he says. For Correa, is it necessary to invest in the training of farmers, especially the familiar ones, to improve cultivation techniques without the products.

Unsatisfactory tests

See the tables of irregular use of pesticide in foods analyzed by Anvisa:

Unauthorized use of pesticides sample for the culturecultura

Zucchini  229 45%

Lettuce 240 39%

Bean 245 4,1%

Ground corn 208 1%

Tomato 246 11,4%

Grape 229 25%

Total 1.397 21%

Use above the Both* Total maximum authorized irregular limit

Zucchini 2,2% 0,4% 48%

Lettuce 0,8% 5% 45%

Bean 1,6% 1,6% 7,3%

Ground corn 1,9% 0% 2,9%

Tomato 2,4% 2% 16%

Grape 25% 2,2% 29%

Total 1,9% 1,9% 25%

*Irregular use for the culture and above the permitted limit 

Source: Correio Braziliense.