Endocrine Disruptors : Half of All Foods Contaminated, Says Pan Europe

Article excerpt

Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and apples contain the highest levels of residues of endocrine disrupting pesticides, says a new report by Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN), published on 5 June. With its top ten' list of most disrupting food items, the network of non-governmental organisations puts out a warning on the long-term effects of these chemical compounds on health, including growth, sexual development and behaviour. It also asks the European Union to take account of the critical exposure threshold, the effects of low doses of endocrine disruptors (ED) and their cumulative effects when it draws up a list of endocrine system disrupting properties in 2013.

The PAN analysis builds on a report by the EU Food Safety Agency (EFSA) that examines food samples from across the Union. It also identifies 43 endocrine disrupting pesticides based on existing literature (since there are no specific criteria defining ED chemicals at European level). A comparison of these data, says PAN Europe, shows that among the 43 ED pesticides identified, 30 are found in foods in Europe. In other words, concludes the organisation, this means that half of European consumers' food is contaminated by pesticide residues and one fourth has multiple residues, sometimes more than ten pesticides in a single sample. "Only organic products are pesticide-free today," notes PAN Europe, which promotes sustainable alternatives to pesticide use. …