Food safety continues to be a big issue in many parts of the world. A good reminder that we should really know a lot more about how our food is treated and processed before it gets into our homes and our bodies! –

A survey by the Taipei City Government’s Department of Health yesterday showed that lemons purchased at a chain supermarket contained traces of parathion, a toxic pesticide banned since 1997.

The department said fruit and vegetables samples collected in July showed that nine of 59 samples contained pesticide residues, with one lemon sample containing 12 times the maximum permissible amount of chemical pesticide residue — 0.12 parts per million (ppm) of imidacloprid, when the maximum was set at 0.01ppm.

The Council of Agriculture has listed imidacloprid as a pesticide that farmers must register and for which they must obtain permission on a case-by-case basis to use. It is only allowed on leafy vegetables, brassica vegetables and a limited number of other crops, but prohibited on lemons, the department said.

Moreover, the lemons were also found to carry 0.08ppm of parathion, which the council banned in 1997.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, parathion is “extremely toxic from acute [short-term] inhalation, oral and dermal exposures,” and acute exposure may result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, difficult breathing, coma, respiratory failure and other symptoms.

Click Lemons tainted with chemicals, other pesticides – Taipei Times to read the full article.