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June 23, 2017

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Produce items found with excess pesticide residue

The China Post--The Taipei government's Department of Health (DOH, 臺北市政府衛生局) tested 76 agricultural produce items in August and found three containing excess pesticide residue that is potentially harmful to people's health.

The DOH randomly selected 76 items of agricultural produce from various retailers, such as organic fruit and vegetable venders and stalls, supermarkets and wholesale markets, throughout Taipei in August to conduct food safety checks.

Three items did not meet the safety standards. Aiwen Mango and Arden Lettuce were found to have remains of prohibited chemicals such as chlorpyrifos and difenoconazole. The Arden Lettuce was found to contain 0.22 parts per million (ppm) more propiconazole than safety standards allow. The muskmelon was also found to contain 0.02 ppm more pencycuron than permitted. All problematic produce has been cleared from stores, according to the DOH.

Of the 76 items, 15 were organic fruits and vegetables which did not contain any pesticide residue. Although 14 items were found to have pesticide chemical residue, the quantity did not exceed safety standards, according to the department.

The DOH urged the public to thoroughly remove the roots or outer layers of fruits and vegetables, and to ensure the produce is properly washed before consumption. The DOH also suggests soaking produce in water for 10 to 20 minutes to decrease the risk of ingesting harmful chemicals.

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