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Rice containing chlorpyrifos: 5 minutes to understand the dangers of this pesticide banned in Europe


Previously used in agriculture and as a biocide, chlorpyrifos has been described by several scientists as a hazardous substance

A prohibited substance that is nevertheless frequently found in food products.

The recall of basmati rice from the Taureau ailé brand, reported last Monday by the Rappel Conso platform, was linked to the presence of chlorpyrifos (or chlorpyrifos), a pesticide that has been banned in Europe since 2020, according to information from Franceinfo that the Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed to the Parisian.

What is this pesticide and what are its consequences on health?

We take stock.

What's wrong with this rice?

A recall operation began on January 23 for whole basmati rice from the Taureau ailé brand.

The health authorities had indeed detected in this product on December 23, during a check, traces of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide banned in Europe.

“The pesticide content detected in the sample is low, but it exceeds the regulatory limit which itself is very low”, specifies the Ministry of Agriculture, according to which “zero tolerance” prevails with regard to this molecule.

Where is this pesticide used?

This pesticide, from the organophosphate family and invented in 1965, "is widely used as an insecticide in agriculture and as a biocide to control pests outside agriculture", sums up the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) .

As of 2008, chlorpyrifos was used in over 88 countries.

But many measures taken around the world have gradually restricted its use, until it was banned in the European Union (EU), due to risks to consumer health.

What consequences can it have on health?

During a 2019 re-evaluation of chlorpyrifos, experts from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and EU member countries "concluded that a human health concern exists" about this substance, "in particular regarding possible genotoxicity and developmental neurotoxicity", indicates a note from the European Commission on Food Safety.

Clearly: this pesticide negatively affects the genome or the nervous system, according to scientists.

In 2011, a study from the University of Columbia, in the United States, showed that prenatal exposure to this substance caused delays in IQ and memory functions in children examined at the age of seven.

It also alerted to the long-term risks of cognitive impairment.

More generally, prenatal exposure to endocrine disruptors, such as organophosphates, would have affected the IQ of 13 million Europeans and caused 59,300 cases of intellectual disability, explains another study published in 2015 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism .

In the EU, the concern was such in 2019 that in its conclusions, the EFSA considered that it was then impossible to determine a safe level of exposure to chlorpyrifos.

This led to the banning of this pesticide the following year.

“On February 18, 2020, member countries validated a Commission proposal to reduce the maximum residue levels of chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl in food and feed to the lowest level measurable by analysis laboratories”, develops the Commission.

In which foods has it already been spotted?

Logically, chlorpyrifos is frequently found in agricultural products.

The specialized journal 60 million consumers already reported, in 2021, having detected chlorpyrifos-ethyl in basmati rice from Punjab of winged Bull.

Chlorpyrifos was also reported in organic Charentais melons sold in 2020, sachets of Mosaïque cloves marketed in 2021, Auchan green pepper sold in bulk in 2021, sachets of lettuce and oak leaves from 2022 of several brands distributor, or even in dried beans and chickpeas of different brands, also sold in 2022.

Source: leparis

All business articles on 2023-01-30

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