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Taiwan: Council of Agriculture failed to identify pesticide residues in timeThe Council of Agriculture was censured this week by a government watchdog for failing to report in time on pesticide residues found in fruits and vegetables.
As a result, pesticide tainted fruit and vegetables had not been spotted prior to harvest and had entered the food chain.
Under COA regulations, employees are sent into the field to collect samples of fruit and vegetable crops before they are harvested so they can be tested for residues.
If residues are discovered then a range of options are available to the COA, depending on the individual circumstances. If the issue is deemed to be accidental then growers will be advised on how to deal with the problem. If, however, it turns out that the situation has come about through negligence then the grower will be penalised.
In all cases harvesting of the crop will be prohibited.
However, in mid-2011 and in January this year more than 80 percent of fruit and vegetables in the country were harvested before the results of the pesticide tests were known.
As a result, the tainted produce managed to reach the domestic market.
Publication date: 2/8/2012
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