10% of Taipei produce fails pesticide residue test

Ten percent of produce examined in Taipei failed a city government pesticide residue test in November, the city health department said Thursday.

The results were based on inspections conducted by the department of produce sold in the city's traditional markets, wholesalers, supermarkets, retailers and restaurants.

A total of 50 items were examined, with five failing the standards on pesticide residue, according to the department.

The five items flagged included crowndaisy chrysanthemum leaves sold at A.mart's Zhongxiao store, baby pak choy sold at City'super's Sogo Fuxing department store, both crowndaisy chrysanthemum leaves and baby pak choy sold by vendor No. 501 in the First Fruit and Vegetable Wholesale Market and pak choy sold by vendor No. 111 at Fumin Road market in Wanhua District.

As two problematic items were found at the same vendor in the wholesale market, Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Corp. has been asked to strength their protocols when screening produce sources, the department said.

All of the produce was sourced outside the city, the department added.

While the vendors were ordered to remove the produce, the department said health and agriculture departments in the districts from where the produce was sourced have been instructed to fine the sellers between NT$60,000 (US$ 2164.96) and NT$200 million. They were also asked to provide farmers with instruction on the proper use of pesticide.

To decrease the amount of pesticide residue, the public should purchase seasonal produce and soak it for 10-20 minutes before use, the department said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel