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But no health risk from pesticides in currants? Greenpeace rejects criticism.
(05.08.2010) Some time ago, the environmental organization presented a test series on pesticides in currants. The result, almost all currants showed multiple residues of pesticides. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) then responded and reported that the currants pose no dangers to human health. The Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) also ruled out health risks in a previous assessment.
According to the president of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment Dr. For Andreas Hensel, the evaluations of the results of the environmental protection organization would not correspond to a scientific approach. Greenpeace would make an unrealistic assumption that children would eat around 500 grams of currants a day for a lifetime. In order to carry out a realistic risk assessment, it would not only be necessary to measure the residues, but also to determine how much a consumer consumes of the products every day. That would not have happened with the Greenpeace test series.
No health risks from currants?
As the BfA announced, on average children would not eat more than 2.3 grams of currants per day. Even with a single consumption of a large amount, it should not be more than 150 grams for children and 167 grams for adults. If one adds up the amount consumed, less than one percent of the daily acceptable intake of the proven residues of pesticides is exhausted, says Hensel.
Multiple pollution of pesticides is increasing.
But the environmental organization Greenpeace contradicts this criticism. The environmentalists have been evaluating pesticide tests for years according to the same and transparent evaluation scheme. According to environmentalists, the procedure is described in detail. Greenpeace had never claimed that the limit values were exceeded. Rather, the organization pointed out that multiple pollution of pesticides is increasing. These multiple burdens are still not taken into account in the legal regulations on pesticide levels in food. According to Greenpeace, population groups with a weak immune system (e.g. infants, chronically ill and the elderly) should be given greater consideration in the health assessment. Greenpeace generally evaluates pesticide residues in food on a comprehensive toxicological basis, which is committed to the precautionary principle.
Greenpeace bases its pesticide residue assessment guidelines on current scientific debates. Other studies have already indicated that the combination effects of chemicals also produce different modes of action. The harmful effects of these pesticide mixtures cannot be excluded, even if individual substances are present in low concentrations. Greenpeace still assumes that the various pesticide cocktails that are used are dangerous. A few years ago, if only one pesticide was used as a plant protection product, up to six different pesticides are sometimes found in currants today.
Greenpeace still believes it is legitimate to include the combination effects of such cocktails in the health assessment and will shortly publish another study on this topic. (sb)
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Image: Albrecht E. Arnold / pixelio.de