Greenpeace China has released some disturbing news about pesticide use in China:
"Pesticides have been linked to cancer and fertility problems as well as other frightening long-term health effects. And China uses a lot of pesticides. Last month, Greenpeace China sent 45 samples of fruits and vegetables to an independent laboratory to find out how serious the problem was. The results are very scary."
40 of 45 samples tested contained pesticide residue and 50 different kinds of pesticides were discovered in the various fruits and vegetables used in the experiment. Some even contained multiple types of pesticides and the problem is so widespread even big nationwide supermarket chains like Walmart, Lotus and Vanguard were found to be selling foods containing the poisons. Even more upsetting is the fact that washing alone will not rid fruits and vegetables of some of these pesticides.
Unfortunately there seems to be no viable alternative or immediate solution to this problem at present. Even Greenpeace admits that buying organic here in China is not much of an option given how expensive “green” foods are here (your correspondent, for example, once spotted four “organic tomatoes” on sales at Walmart – ironically enough – for the very ridiculous price of RMB 28), not to mention the dubious nature of much of these claims.
Still, if you want to play it safe, Greenpeace has a list of Beijing organic food producers here. In the meantime, and for what it’s worth, keep washing those greens.
More links below: