Widespread use of pesticides and antibiotics in food in India, along with junk food, water borne diseases in street food and many other sources of contamination, pesticide residues continue to add to food safety woes in India.
Pesticides have been found in Soft drinks, bottled water, fresh vegetables and fruits and in human tissue.
India continues to allow the use of several deadly pesticides that are banned by many developed countries like Cypermethrin, heptachlor, quinalphos, aldrin, chlorodane, dichlorvas. These are widely used in India and you too could be eating these as part of your daily diet.
Vegetables and fruits are overloaded with these pesticides and okra, cabbage, bananas, oranges and apples contain high amount of pesticides in them. FSSAI had conducted studies and found that several common food items contain banned pesticides thousands of times over the permissible limit.One report says that among the vegetables, brinjal is at the top with levels of banned pesticide at 860% above legal limits, it is then followed by cauliflower and cabbage. Rice and wheat too had dangerous levels of pesticides, the presence of aldrin in wheat is 21,890 times higher than the permissible level, and that of chlorfenvinfos in rice was at 1,324% above the permissible limit. According to the report fruits like apples and oranges have banned pesticides 140% above permissible levels.
Health experts say that pesticides consumed for a long time can be fatal and pesticides are actually neurotoxins which affect the kidneys, liver and the endocrine system. Cabbage and Cauliflower which are very important for women’s health also have very high amounts of pesticides in them making it dangerous for women and more so for pregnant women as pesticides can pass throught the placenta causing harm to the unborn child.
We at foodnetindia urge you the people to make sure you thoroughly wash the fruits and vegetable before consuming them as adequately washing them can remove some of the surface pesticides in them. You could also consider investing in an ozoniser, which can remove surface pesticides by oxidising them.
We strongly recommend using organic food wherever possible. Kitchen gardening is also another option to explore. We should be careful of squeaky clean packaging of apples and oranges as they may not be as healthy as they seem to be.
We at foodnetindia ask the government to take quick steps to ban the harmful pesticides that are already banned in the developed world. The government also needs to educate farmers and the logistics chain on safe and controlled use of pesticides and fungicides.
The food regulators too have a long road ahead of them and need to track all violations of food contamination with urgency.