Red, black beans found to have unacceptable pesticide levels

Taipei, June 9 (CNA) Three out of 60 agricultural products tested recently were found to contain pesticide residue at higher than allowable levels, according to the Consumers' Foundation, which commissioned the tests. Among the three cases, black beans sold in a Kaohsiung store were the most seriously contaminated, as they contained 0.14 ppm of Fipronil, a level that is more than 100 times the allowable level. The other two cases involved red beans sold in stores in Taichung and Kaohsiung, respectively, which were found to contain pesticides such as Imidacloprid and Carbofuran. Carbofuran is banned for red beans by Taiwan's Council of Agriculture. The pesticides have been banned by the European Union until 2015 out of concerns that they interfere with the ability of honey bees to function properly. The foundation collected beans, mushrooms and coriander from supermarkets, groceries and traditional markets in Taipei, New Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung in March and April for testing. According to the Council of Agriculture, 80 percent of Taiwan's red beans are imported. Soybeans and black beans are almost all imported, while green beans are also mostly imported. (By Yang Shu-min and Lilian Wu)