Pesticides: on 44% of fruit and vegetables in Italy

Pesticides: on 44% of fruit and vegetables in Italy.


The most present pesticide is Acetamiprid, followed by Boscalid, Fluidoxonil, Azoxystrobina, Tubeconazole, and Fluopyram. Samples of fruit and vegetables have increased, where pesticides have been found. At the center of the investigation, 4,313 samples of food of plant and animal origin. Only 54.8% of the total is free of pesticide residues, against 63% the previous year.


Fruit is the most affected with over 70.3% of the samples analyzed. Table grapes with 88.3% of samples presenting at least one pesticide, and pears with 91.6% and 22 different categories of pesticides detected. On the vegetable front (65.5% of the samples examined), the most affected are peppers with 38 different categories of pesticides. Tomatoes follow with 55% of champions. 

Among the pesticides is glyphosate, the herbicide most present in samples of processed products. These also include honey , in 67.5% of cases no residues were found. Also present are two neonicotinoids . Thiacloprid (withdrawn from the market) and Acetamiprid with serious repercussions on bee health. The EU has called for a 62% cut in pesticide use by 2030.

The data on organics make it clear how the lack of transition can also negatively affect good practices: we need to go in the opposite direction, towards a full green revolution from the field to the table, starting with the approval of the new National Action Plan for the use sustainable use of plant protection products. The last draft dates back to 2014, the deadline is 2019. Therefore, it is urgent to resolve this problem as well.


Giorgio Zampetti, general manager of Legambiente



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