Australia’s self-regulating pesticide monitoring regime picked up far fewer violations than government study

The pesticide testing Australia relies on to pick up chemicals in fresh fruit and vegetables sold domestically routinely picked up far fewer breaches than a government study in 2013.

Unpublished results of a 2013 pilot study for a national produce monitoring system (NPMS) by the federal agriculture department have been revealed under freedom of information laws.

The study was shelved by the former Coalition government despite some disturbing findings.

Testing of strawberries revealed samples with up to 90 times the maximum residue limit (MRL) set for dimethoate, while one apricot and nine peach samples contained levels of the now-withdrawn pesticide fenthion that were “unacceptable from an acute or short-term dietary risk perspective.”


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