AS Watson

Five pesticides discovered on pear

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 December, 2010, 12:00am

A pear sample taken from the shelf of a supermarket has been found with traces of a highly toxic pesticide that is banned in Hong Kong.

The pear was among 18 samples bought from four supermarkets and a wet market by Greenpeace activists.

It also had traces of four other pesticides, including one listed by the World Health Organisation as a moderate toxic.

Of the 17 vegetables and one fruit, 15 were found to have varying degrees of pesticide contamination, with an individual sample of Indian Lettuce having traces of up to 17 pesticides.

Greenpeace questioned the effectiveness of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department's existing surveillance schemes, mainly random checks, on imported food.

The study focused on Wellcome stores in Kwong Wah Street and Shanghai Street, Kowloon, a ParknShop in Cheung Fat Estate, Tsing Yi, Jusco supermarket in Lam Tin and Shek Tong Tsui market in Western. The pear was the only sample with methidathion, a highly-toxic pesticide listed by the World Health Organisation, and chlorpyrifos, listed as moderately toxic.

A total of 38 pesticides were identified on the 18 samples, though concentration levels were still within the maximum allowed in Hong Kong.

Wellcome and ParknShop said they followed food safety regulations.