The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) UK report said 87 per cent of pears and 64 per cent of apples contained pesticides.
A new report claiming a quarter of all food consumed in the UK contains ’cocktails of pesticides’ has been rubbished by experts who said the law ensures legal limits do not pose any risk to human health.
The report, released by Pesticide Action Network (PAN) UK, said 87 per cent of pears, 64 per cent of apples and one quarter of bread contained pesticides, while other items contained traces of up to 14 different pesticides.
It added as many as 10 different chemicals had been found in UK soil and water, and authors said they feared any post-Brexit trade deals could lead to a surge in the number of pesticides authorised for use in the UK.
But NFU senior regulatory affairs adviser Dr Chris Hartfield said PAN UK made no attempt to explain that strict legal limits on pesticide residues in food were set in law at levels ‘well below limits that pose any risk to human health’.
He said: “Independent experts here in the UK consistently conclude that most food contains no pesticide residues at all, and that levels are lower than in food that is imported into the UK.
“British farmers are rightly proud that their standards are some of the best in the world, with pesticides already very highly regulated and strictly tested for safety.”
The Soil Association used the report to call on the Government to support farmers to transition away from pesticide use.
Head of policy Rob Percival said: “The Government urgently needs to support farmers to adopt nature-friendly, agroecological approaches that do not rely on pesticides, including organic, to better protect both human health and the natural world.”