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Pesticide standards unlikely to change soon

By Jin Zhu (China Daily)

08:26, May 02, 2012

China's standards for pesticide residue on tea products are reasonable and unlikely to change in the near future, a senior expert has said.

The remarks by Wang Jianhua, an expert on pesticide residue for the Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau of Shandong province, came after the government conceded the long-term use of chemicals on other crops has resulted in widespread contamination of soil and water supplies.

Greenpeace released a report in April saying Chinese products available for the domestic market fall far short of the standard required in the European Union.

However, Wang dismissed public concern resulting from the report and insisted the products tested are safe.

"China's standards on pesticide residue are reasonable, as the standards fully take into consideration the potential risks to public health," he said on Tuesday.

"What authorities should be paying serious attention to is the usage of highly toxic pesticides in agricultural production, which is ongoing. Some areas of production have no standards on pesticide residues at all."

Wang declined to name specific pesticides.

The Greenpeace report, released on April 23, said scientists had discovered residue from 17 pesticides, including methomyl, a pesticide banned in China, in some Lipton teas.

Seven of the pesticides are also prohibited in the EU, including endosulfan and bifenthrin, which according to EU health officials might jeopardize fetal health and men's fertility, the NGO report said.

The test result was based on samples of Lipton's black, green, jasmine and tieguanyin teas purchased randomly in Beijing in March.

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