Taiwan finds excessive pesticide levels in bananas

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Department of Health said Tuesday it found the pesticide Kresoxim-methyl on bananas at almost 200 times the maximum legal level.
The substance was found on 22 out of 169 bananas tested in Southern Taiwan last month, the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration said.
Kresoxim-methyl was often used on fruit and vegetable to prevent them from rotting, toxicologists said, but the substance was listed in the United States as a potential carcinogen, causing swellings in rats. The pesticide could also affect fertility.
The bananas showed 1.93 parts per million of Kresoxim-methyl, or 193 times the maximum value allowed, the DOH said.
Experts advised consumers to wash unpeeled bananas for 15 minutes and to brush the skins with a light brush before peeling them. Any type of fruit, whether the peel was edible or not, should be washed first to remove traces of pesticides, experts said.
In addition, the tests also turned up the presence of Carbendazim and Fludioxonil in two lots of tomatoes tested. The former was also a potential carcinogen which could affect human fertility, but the latter was less toxic and could leave the human body within an hour after consumption, according to experts.
The finding of Carbendazim in a type of tomato usually used in cooking food was in itself a rare occurrence, toxicologists said.
The fruits treated with the excessive levels of pesticides were submitted for tests by the health authorities in Pingtung County, though reports said they might come from the Kaohsiung area.
The DOH said further inspections should show up the origins of the bananas and the tomatoes, with those responsible facing fines.