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Thread: Growing fruit trees - Organic vs Un-treated

  1. #121
    yummersetter is offline Rooter
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    What kind of pest spray are you suggesting?
    At the moment, my trees are teeming with blue tits picking over the branches meticulously looking for bugs and eggs to build up their strength for the breeding season.

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by yummersetter View Post
    What kind of pest spray are you suggesting?
    .
    Glad to see this thread re-emerging, and on the subject of pesticides. What with the horse-meat contamination scandal, pesticide residue testing in apples (and in other fresh produce) sprang to mind.

    The latest report by Defra's Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food, covering the second quarter of 2012 (published December 2012), can be found at:-

    http://www.pesticides.gov.uk/Resourc...012_Report.pdf

    It makes for interesting reading.

    Nationally, it really is a tiny, tiny testing programme! Only 845 samples taken across 26 different fresh food types. Makes you wonder about the statistical validity of any conclusions drawn about any of the foods tested.

    The results for apples are on p7-8 (plus detailed listings sample by sample on Table 1b (pages 66-67) and Table 1c (pages 68-69)).

    Apparently 40 samples of apples were purchased from retail outlets across the country by a marketing research company between January and June 2012, and tested for 319 pesticide residues -I didn't know that many were even used in orchards. The sample breakdown was as follows:-

    2 cooking apple samples from the UK
    11 eating apple samples from the UK
    10 eating apple samples imported from outside the EU
    17 eating apple samples from within the EU.

    I couldn't find out what an individual sample consisted of - I guess probably more than a six pack of apples?

    Briefly the results were:-

    2 samples contained no residues from those sought
    38 samples contained residues above the reporting level
    None of the samples contained residues above the MRL (maximum residue level legally permissible in mg/kg)
    None of the samples was labelled as organic.

    On the basis of these results I don't feel totally confident, and I'm glad I don't eat any xxxxxxxxs.
    Last edited by boundtothesoil; 02-03-2013 at 02:40 PM.

  3. #123
    orangepippin is offline Tuber
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    Thanks for this info. It's a shame none of the samples were from organic sources as it would have been interesting to compare the residue levels.

  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by orangepippin View Post
    It's a shame none of the samples were from organic sources as it would have been interesting to compare the residue levels.
    I haven't read these reports exhaustively, having only recently come across them, but I'm pretty sure one mentioned the odd 'organic' sample found to contain residues. Apparently, in such a case the committee follows it up and contacts the supplier. I still can't get over the fact that so few apples are tested - just two samples of cookers for the whole UK!

    What I don't know is whether individual commercial growers have to submit samples for regular testing in addition to this. Likewise, I'd be interested to know to what extent, if any, this government testing has been cut back in terms of sample numbers over the years.

  5. #125
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    The problem is how much testing should we do, bearing in mind that there are an almost infinite number of things we could look for?
    Every test costs money and that will push up the costs for already hard-pressed consumers.

    Some might say "get the government to do it" but the government gets its funds from taxpayers - so again someone has to carry the cost.
    Some might say "get the companies to pay for it" but profit margins in agriculture are already very low - we all have to earn a living - and companies would operate at a loss if prices were capped but costs increased; potentially going bust and throwing even people out of work and onto the dole queue.
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  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by FB. View Post
    The problem is how much testing should we do, bearing in mind that there are an almost infinite number of things we could look for?
    Every test costs money and that will push up the costs for already hard-pressed consumers.

    Some might say "get the government to do it" but the government gets its funds from taxpayers - so again someone has to carry the cost.
    Some might say "get the companies to pay for it" but profit margins in agriculture are already very low - we all have to earn a living - and companies would operate at a loss if prices were capped but costs increased; potentially going bust and throwing even people out of work and onto the dole queue.
    I guess the answer is, where possible - GROW YOUR OWN!
    DuncanM and orangepippin like this.
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