Pesticide cocktail in grapes and oranges: the UK’s dirty dozen

A recent research from the United Kingdom discovered 122 pesticide residues in 12 fruits and vegetables. Every fruit and vegetable on this list had at least two different kinds of pesticides, with some having as many as 25 different types. According to the new study, almost all grapes and oranges contain a "cocktail of pesticides", making them the most contaminated.    

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) analyzed the official statistics and discovered 122 distinct pesticides in the 12 most contaminated goods, dubbed the "dirty dozen" by the organization. Many of them are detrimental to human health; 61% are classed as extremely hazardous pesticides (HHPs). The research revealed that nearly all grapes and oranges have a "pesticide cocktail”, placing them at the top of the “dirty dozen” list. However, there are ten more in the "dirty dozen” - dehydrated fruit, herbs, pears, peas, beans, okra, lettuce, beans (dried), carrots, mango.    

Some of the chemicals found are very hazardous: 47 pesticides have been related to cancer, 15 are reproductive and developmental toxins, and 17 are cholinesterase inhibitors that may harm the respiratory system. Endocrine disruptors are implicated in around a quarter of the pesticides found. The pesticides identified by PAN reports are the following: Neonicotinoids, Imazalil, 2,4-D, Chlorpyrifos, Difenconazole, Glyphosate.    

“These figures highlight the wide range of chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis through our diet. As safety limits continue to be set for only one pesticide at a time, evidence is growing that chemicals can combine to be more toxic, a phenomenon known as the cocktail effect”, said Nick Mole, PAN UK. He also added, “Hardly anyone in the UK can afford financially or access a completely organic diet, that's why we publish the dirty dozen, to help consumers prioritize which products to avoid”.