Food Poison: Pesticide residues found in vegetablesNearly 14 pc of the vegetables that are currently supplied to the Kalimati Vegetable Market have been found with a high level of pesticides residue making them unfit for consumption.
The Rapid Pesticides Residue Analysis found out that 26 of the 187 vegetable samples contained harmful chemicals responsible for slowing down the enzymatic activity inside human blood. These vegetables were supplied to the market between June 18 and July 15. Among the 36 different crops, including potato, cauliflower, chilli and capsicum, the ones grown in Kavre, Bhaktapur, Dhading and Kathmandu contained high organophosphate and carbamate pesticides residue.
The samples considered unfit for consumption contained the enzyme inhibition rate above 45 percent, enough to slow down or stop secretion of Acetyl Chlorine Esterase which is essential for normal functioning of the nervous system, said Dilli Ram Sharma, programme director at the directorate. Six other samples contained inhibition rate between 35 and 45 percent, which experts said could be consumed after quarantining them for three to four days. The remaining 155 samples had the inhibition rate below 35 percent thus fit for consumption. Samples of some vegetables imported form India also had traces of pesticides.
“The situation, however, is not as serious as perceived by the public. But we still need to control the entry of vegetables and fruits from the farmers who use chemical fertilisers on a large scale,” Sharma said.
He added that the supply of vegetables with high pesticide content has decreased since the directorate started its monitoring on June 18.
The directorate plans to launch a campaign to destroy the produces with high pesticide content from Friday. It is also preparing to take stringent actions against the farmers using harmful pesticides.
Of the 350 metric tons of pesticides imported in the last fiscal year, around 80 percent were used in vegetables farming. Pesticides were first introduced in the country in 1950s for malaria eradication.