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Taiwan Consumers’ Foundation finds excess pesticides on Japanese and local strawberries

Fruit showed excessive levels of residues and banned chemicals

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The Consumers' Foundation says pesticide residues are a problem with strawberries from Japan. 

The Consumers' Foundation says pesticide residues are a problem with strawberries from Japan.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Consumers’ Foundation said Friday (March 11) it had found excessive levels of pesticides on strawberries imported from Japan as well as on those produced in Taiwan.

In January, the foundation tested six batches of Taiwan strawberries, five imported from Japan and one from South Korea, CNA reported. The fruit was bought from supermarkets, traditional markets, and fruit shops in Taipei, Taichung, Changhua and Kaohsiung.

Four out of five strawberry packs imported from Japan and two locally grown batches showed levels of pesticide residues higher than officially allowed, as well as one or two types of chemicals that were banned altogether, the foundation said. The pesticides had either not been applied for, or were completely banned from use on strawberries.

Violations of legal pesticide levels could be subject to fines ranging from NT$60,000 (US$2,110) to NT$200 million, and in extreme cases, the grower could be forced to suspend or close their business, the foundation pointed out.

Only a packet of strawberries imported from South Korea and sold at a major department store turned out to contain no pesticides at all, according to the report. The other five batches also tested positive for residues of one to 17 types of chemical, but within legal levels, the foundation said.

The investigation could not determine whether pesticides had actually been used by growers or were the result of contamination from neighboring fields.