FSA advice sparks row
peeling fruit and vegetables is not required as a protection
against pesticide residues.
The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) reported this week that washing or peeling fruit and vegetables is not required as a protection against pesticide residues.
This was the conclusion reached after the FSA asked the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP), independent scientific advisers on pesticides, to consider whether longstanding public advice on washing or peeling fruit for hygiene reasons was necessary in relation to pesticides.
But not all agreed with the new findings. UK environmental campaigners Friends of the Earth warned that the FSA advice was "irresponsible". Sandra Bell, real foods campaigner for Friends of the Earth, was quoted as saying: "We're not confident there has been any significant change since 1997, and we've looked at exactly the same papers as the advisory committee. The papers actually found that safety levels set specifically for children are exceeded for a wide range of pesticides on fruit and vegetables that are eaten commonly by children. We're not convinced at all that thispeeling advice should go at this stage."
Contrary to Bell, the FSA said in statement released this week that "if fruit and vegetables do contain any residues, consumers can be confident that they are only present at levels well below those that might be harmful to health." More mixed messages for the consumer.