In the first months of the year, Costa Rica's State Phytosanitary Service (SFE) detected and prevented the entry into the country of 673 kilograms of products coming from Panama (273 kilos of cherry tomatoes, 365 kilos of sweet pepper, and 35 kilos of fresh mushrooms) with a high load of chemical contamination.
Authorities detected the presence of 10 quantifiable pesticides in the tomato shipment. The SFE detected 0.03 mg/kg of chlorpyrifos, when the limit allowed is 0.01 mg/kg, as well as 0.02 mg/kg of endosulfan Beta insecticide, which is banned in Costa Rica. They also found 0.52 mg/kg of cypermethrin, largely surpassing the permitted level of 0.2 mg/kg.
The authorities found the presence of 7 quantifiable pesticides in sweet peppers, such as 0.03 mg/kg of fipronil, when the limit allowed is 0.005 mg/kg. In fresh mushrooms, they detected 0.07 mg/kg of cypermethrin, when its maximum limit is 0.05 mg/kg".
Since they didn't comply with the Maximum Residue Limits for pesticides established in Costa Rica, these products were not allowed to enter the country, the SFE stated.
The sweet peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes were destroyed as established by Costa Rican legislation because of the risk they posed to human health if consumed.