The government on Friday said it has found residues of unapproved pesticides in vegetables, fruits, milk and other food items collected from various retail and wholesale outlets across the country.
According to a report released by the Agriculture Ministry, over 20 thousand samples had been collected and residues of pesticides were detected in 18.7 percent of the samples, while residues above Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) were found in 2.6 percent of samples, and 12.5 per cent of samples revealed residues of non-approved pesticides.
The MRL is being prescribed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
“Out of the 20,618 samples analysed, residues of non-approved pesticides were detected in 12.5% of the samples,” the ministry said in the report.
“The items collected from organic outlets were also found to be having residues of pesticides,” the report added.
The report also said that most frequently detected pesticides, which exceeded FSSAI MRL, were chlorpyrifos, ethion, acetamiprid, dichlorvos and cypermethrin.
The residues of non-approved pesticides detected in 1,180 vegetable samples, were mainly acephate, bifenthrin, acetamiprid, triazofos, metalaxyl and malathion.
The samples were collected from across the country as a part of the central scheme ‘Monitoring of Pesticide Residues’ launched in 2005.