Pesticides also found in banana pulp

The alarm goes off for bananas: the presence of pesticides in the pulp revealed by a recent test. Only 3 out of 20 brands pass the check, with Lidl, Carrefour and Esselunga at the bottom of the ranking. The news is worrying, especially considering that bananas are one of the fruits most loved by children. The common belief that peeling them avoids the intake of pesticides is now being questioned. A new study conducted by ‘Il Salvagente’ has revealed the presence of traces of pesticides and chemicals in banana pulp, analyzing 20 different brands available in Italian supermarkets and discount stores.

The presence of pesticides

The results revealed an unpleasant surprise: not even organic bananas have been free from pesticide contamination. This fact is a cause for great concern, especially considering that bananas are one of the most loved fruits by children. Among the 20 references examined, only 3 were found to be free of traces of pesticides. Unfortunately, the banana industry makes extensive use of chemicals in agriculture, posing a potential risk not only to the health of those who consume this delicious fruit, but also to the workers employed in its cultivation.

Furthermore, since pesticides are often dispersed from above through the use of aircraft, the environment is affected, resulting in contamination of water resources and soil. The analysis conducted by ‘The Lifesaver’ revealed that, with the exception of just three products, the pulp of the bananas tested contains traces of pesticides, although always below the legal limits. The alarming element is the presence of traces of different substances on the same fruit, reaching up to six.

Bananas, pesticides found inside the pulp

This situation exposes consumers to a serious health risk, highlighting what is known as the ‘cocktail effect’, a phenomenon confirmed by several studies. Although the chemical substances detected are below the legal limits, the well-known magazine penalized brands contaminated with neonicotinoids such as imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and chlorfenapyr, a class of insecticides that pose a significant threat to bees. At the European Union level, efforts are being made to ban the use of this category of insecticides, despite continued requests for exemptions from some states, including France.

As regards the other substances identified in the samples, it was not possible to make significant distinctions since the safety levels were similar. Furthermore, despite their danger, these substances are authorized in Europe. However, ‘Il Salvagente’ highlights in particular gibberellic acidwhich was regulated until 2014, when EU Regulation 588 came into force which eliminated the legal limits relating to this substance, despite the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the Authority for the Protection of Human Health and of the United States Environment has classified it as a mildly toxic pesticide.

What will Esselunga and Carrefour do now?

The analysis revealed that even organic bananas did not escape pesticide contamination, a bitter discovery. After the discovery, the magazine tried to obtain further information by contacting the companies Esselunga and Carrefour. Both showed themselves surprised by the traces of pesticides found in their products. Esselunga promptly stopped imports of bananas and other foods from the same producer, while Carrefour started a control procedure.