137 Fruit and Vegetable Products Tested and Received Full Clearance by the Taipei City Health Bureau


Source: News & Market Taiwan

Beginning June 4, the Taipei City Health Bureau announced the results of random testing on 137 different fruits and vegetables conducted in supermarkets, markets, schools, and organic stores.

Taipei City Health Bureau tested samples of 137 commercially available fruits and vegetables, two detected excessive pesticide, including Chinese cabbage from Yunlin County. There has so far been no investigation into these cases. However, the Yunlin County Health Department has attributed the findings to sales of vegetables which were past their shelf life, pointing out the short shelf life of vegetables. The Taipei City Health Department reminded the public to use clean water when washing vegetables.

Fifteen different organic fruits and vegetables received full clearance in the investigation, with no detectable pesticide resides. Among the other products tested, 24 products were contained detectable levels of pesticides, though 22 of these products had pesticide levels which are below the level considered by the Ministry of Health and Welfare as “allowable amounts of pesticide residues,” and two contained pesticide levels exceeding the allowable amount. These two products were cabbages, which tested about the acceptable levels of Carbofuran and Profenofos, respectively.

Chiu-yee, Director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Taipei City Health Bureau, said these two pesticides are permitted at lower levels of detectability, and asked that they be removed from shelves, and reminded that according to the Food Safety and Health Management Law, stores selling these or other products found to be exceeding acceptable levels can be fined from 6-50 Million yuan, the amount of which will be determined by the Yunlin County Health Department.

In order to reduce the probability of pesticide residues, consumers are encouraged to consume seasonal fruits and vegetables. Pesticides like Carbofuran and Profenofos are commonly used on winter vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, and other leafy vegetables. During the hot summer weather, use of these pesticides increases on winter vegetables to combat pests and diseases.

The Taipei City Health Bureau calls for farmers to comply with relevant laws and regulations for pesticide use when planting and harvesting crops, and reminds consumers to choose seasonal fruits and vegetables. The Taipei City Health Bureau advises consumers to clean vegetables thoroughly: being sure to rinse roots of any sediment, and soaking vegetables in water for 10-20 minutes before rinsing them under running water 2-3 times as additional precautionary measures. The Taipei City Health Bureau recommends summer vegetables and fruits such as wax gourd, bitter melon, cucumbers, spinach, sweet potato shoots, and root crops as advisable choices for hot summer days.

(By Lin Huizhen)