Thirty three per cent of organic products, largely vegetables sold in the national capital over the last two years were found loaded with pesticides.
Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI) an industry body under Right to Information Act found that organic farms in India use chemical pesticides to protect their crops and stealthily pass their product into the market as organic. The industry body had sought information from Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi which disclosed its findings of pesticide residues in organic vegetables.
The samples were collected from among the most popular organic retail stores in Delhi. Between January 2012 and October 2014, IARI scientists working under an all-India network project on pesticides residues purchased a variety of organic-labelled vegetables and analysed them for pesticide residues.
"Their sophisticated analysis surprisingly showed that every third sample of organic vegetables had pesticide residues proving the suspicion that the organically certified farms have always been using a variety of pesticides," said Rajju Shroff, chairman, CCFI.
The organic vegetables tested positive to pesticides include brinjal, ladyfinger, tomato, capsicum, chiili, cabbage, cauliflower, coriander, cucumber, green peas.
"Many of them had multiple pesticide residues. Though Maximum Residue Limit is irrelevant to organic vegetables, it must be revealed that IARI’s study showed many organic vegetables carrying pesticide residues far above the MRL set for vegetables," said Shroff.