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Food and health   Two batches of vegetables have been removed

Tesco spinach in China contains pesticide 71 times over limit

Tesco spinachTwo batches of vegetables sold at Lotus and Tesco outlets in Shanghai have been found to contain excessive amounts of pesticide residue and have been removed from shelves.

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A batch of celery sold at the Chuanchang outlet of Lotus and supplied by the Shanghai Jiangqiao Wholesale Market was found to contain 3.6 milligrams of chlorpyrifos residue per kilogram — 71 times above the national standard.

Chlorpyrifos is an insecticide that is toxic to humans, experts said. Its exposure has been linked to neurological effects and autoimmune disorders.

In addition, a batch of spinach, sold at the Zhongshan Road N. outlet of Tesco and supplied by the supermarket’s Minhang branch, was also found to contain excessive chlorpyrifos residue - 8.4 times higher than the maximum limit ruled by the standard, according to the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration.

Chlorpyrifos is allowed to be applied on vegetables as a pesticide, but the amount is subject to strict controls.

Failure in controlling the amount of pesticides used and picking and selling vegetables too soon after the use of pesticides are both causes of excessive chlorpyrifos residue.

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