Harmful pesticides found in fruits and vegetables on Dutch supermarket shelves
Increasingly more fruits and vegetables on Dutch grocery store shelves have been sprayed with hazardous pesticides, a report by the Food and Good Safety Authority (NVWA) showed.
The NVWA investigated 55 pesticides that have been known to be harmful to people's health since a 2009 study. Scientists have linked the pesticides to Parkinson's, autism, fertility problems, and thyroid abnormalities. Notably, on pears, apples, strawberries and leek, the NVWA found in 2020 at least one of the 55 dangerous pesticides. Pesticide Action Network Netherlands (PAN NL) is particularly concerned about the effects of combining different pesticides on one product. "No one knows what the health effects are and what the substances exactly do in our body," Hans Muilerman from PAN NL told the AD.
"Things are going in the wrong direction," Muilerman said. The pesticide, Difenoconoazol, was found five times more often in 2020 compared to 2006. Muilerman noted that the agricultural sector has to transition to organic production to avoid pesticide residue continuing to be found on food products.
The nutrition centrum declared fruits and vegetables in the Netherlands safe for consumption. The Ministry of Health said that available research on the combination of pesticides does not raise safety concerns.
"The fact that you find a substance on a product does not say much about its risk," food safety expert Wieke van der Vossen told the AD. "That still means we should always be looking critically at the substances."
The Dutch government wants no more pesticide residue on fruits and vegetables by 2030.