Israel's fruits and vegetables most toxic: survey

The survey found that the amount of pesticides applied in Israel reached 3.5 tons per 1,000 dunam (1,000 square meters), a number 88 times higher than in Sweden

Israel's fruits and vegetables most toxic: survey

World Bulletin/News Desk

The level of toxins in pesticides in Israel between 2008 and 2010 was higher than in any other country in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

A survey on pesticides in agriculture organized by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics discovered that between 2008 and 2010 the level of toxins in pesticides in Israel was higher than in any other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development member country.

This reveals that in comparison to any other Western country, Israeli produce is more dangerous for consumption.

In its investigation of the pesticides used by the companies which produce or import such chemicals to Israel, the survey found that the amount of pesticides applied in Israel reached 3.5 tons per 1,000 dunam (1,000 square meters). This number is 88 times higher than in Sweden (0.04 tons), the country with the least use of pesticides.

Japan ranks in second place in the list of "most poisonous” countries in the world as 1.55 tons per 1,000 dunam were discovered.
However Japan tops the list for the quantity of active toxins in relation to resident population with 4.95 tons per 1,000 people.

Israel comes in second with one ton per 1,000 people, and Hungary in third with 0.98 tons.

Sweden occupies the bottom of the list with 0.11 tons per 1,000 people, followed by Switzerland and Norway with 0.19 tons per 1,000 people.

Approximately 7,000 tons of pesticides are sold in Israel annually, used mostly to kill fungi, bacteria and insects, and for soil evaporation. The pesticides are sold in 670 forms. Various chemicals are also used to preserve and store fruits after their harvest, to regulate growth with hormones and as additives for plants.

The international Montreal Protocol had banned the use of pesticides which are damaging to the ozone layer — especially methyl bromide (a compound consisting of carbon, hydrogen and bromine) which is considered the most common pesticide of the last generation. However, the survey discovered that 570 pesticides sold in Israel still contain methyl bromide.

Other dangerous and widespread pesticides include the insecticides Confidor and Vertimec, and the fungicides Odeon and Ohio.

The Agriculture Ministry says these practices are being revised through the introduction of less toxic alternatives. This will replace the use of chemicals that include organic phosphates and herbicides from the discontinued triazine group of pesticides. The Agriculture Ministry is urging more environmentally friendly methods without pesticides. The use of traps and instruments which kill insects and release sterile flies have also been increased.

Last Mod: 20 Mart 2013, 10:51
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