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Presence of Pesticides and Metals in Fruits and Vegetable

The Registration Committee constituted under Section 5 of the Insecticides Act, 1968 registers pesticides only after satisfying itself regarding their efficacy and safety.// Toxicity and residues data generated under supervised trials is analyzed and used to fix Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 and Rules framed thereunder. The inspection of fruits and vegetables for the presence of pesticide residues and other harmful substances falls under the purview of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. However, as per the directions of the Inter Ministerial Committee constituted to review the use of hazardous chemicals and insecticides, 33 samples of vegetables have been drawn from Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee, Azadpur, Delhi since June, 2006 and tested for residues of organo-chlorine, organo-phosphorous and synthetic pyrethroids pesticides. Residues of chlorpyriphos were detected in two of these samples at the level of 0.18 ppm. 24 of these samples have also been analysed for the presence of heavy metals like lead, cadmium and arsenic. The heavy metals found in the samples of vegetables were below the maximum limit prescribed under the Food Adulteration Rules, 1955.

The Ministry of Agriculture has also taken up a scheme for Monitoring of Pesticide Residues under which 21 laboratories under various Ministries/Department have been provided with equipments to undertake analysis of pesticide residues in vegetables, water, meat and meat products, and marine products.

This information was given in Lok Sabha today by Shri Kanti Lal Bhuria,Minister of State for Agriculture in a written reply.

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