More than 7 out of 10 samples of the vegetables sold in Hong Kong markets have tested positive for pesticide residues, says the Hong Kong Baptist University.
The university’s Hong Kong Organic Resource Centre collected 60 samples of locally and mainland-grown choi sum, Chinese white cabbage and Chinese spinach from wet markets, organic stores and organic farms in 17 districts of the city between September and November 2018.
According to the test results unveiled by the center on Sunday, 43 of the samples, or around 72 percent, contained pesticide residues. Some of those samples with pesticide residues were either certified by mainland authorities or being sold as organic vegetables.
Of the 43 pesticide-tainted samples, 35 were found to have exceeded European Union pesticide residue standards, including all of the supposedly organic vegetables from the mainland.
Two samples certified in Hong Kong were also found to have exceeded local standards, which set the maximum level of pesticide residues at 0.1mg per kilogram.
Professor Jonathan Wong Woon-chung, a biology professor at the HKBU and director of the center, said while the detected amount of pesticide residues in the samples should only pose low health risk, even though it was higher than the local regulatory level, it may still have a bigger effect on vegetarians, children and vegetable lovers.