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What’s in your strawberries?

Testing of French and Spanish strawberries showed that 70% of fruits contained pesticides which are endocrine disruptors, and two samples even contained a banned pesticide. The results underline the need for an ambitious policy on endocrine disruptors.

HEAL members Générations Futures and Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN-E) conducted an investigation into strawberries sold in France, originating from the country or from Spain. Out of 49 samples analysed, 91.83% contained one or more pesticide residues and in total, 71.42% of the samples contained pesticides that are endocrine disruptors. Two out of the 26 French samples (i.e. 7.69%) contained endosulfan, an organochlorine insecticide banned in Europe since 2005 and on the list of Persistent Organic Pollutants to be eliminated globally under the Stockholm Convention, convention implemented under the authority of the UN. This analysis is part of an investigation called “EXPERT 2” on banned pesticides and EDCs.

The findings show the ubiquity of many endocrine disrupting pesticides found in our environment leading to a significant exposure of the population. These substances potentially threaten unborn and young children even at low doses. Strawberries are a popular source of fruit, necessary for a healthy diet, and frequently consumed by pregnant women and children, thus preventing exposure should be a priority.

The two organisations are urging policy makers to take immediate and strong measures to reduce human exposure to pesticides and EDCs.

HEAL member organisation, and Executive Board member, Vivo Sano from Spain cooperated with Générations Futures and PAN Europe on the Spanish part of the research. Vivo Sano has sent a complaint to the Consejería de Medio Ambiente de la Junta de Andalucía (Regional environment ministry of Andalucia), and the Ministry of Health.

Full report in French by Generations Futures
Information in Spanish by Vivo Sano: Press release, Article

Originally posted on 23 July 2013

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