Pesticides, heavy metals found in ‘organic’ rice
AHMEDABAD: Recent comparative product testing by city-based Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC), found traces of pesticides and heavy metals in six supposedly-organic brands of rice.
Three brands of rice sold as organic had traces of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, and these were above the safe limit in two brands. All seven organic rice brands tested by CERC, were found to have heavy metals, copper and lead, but these were within the safe limits.
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) suggests that short-term exposure to chlorpyrifos can cause changes in behavior or sleeping patterns, mood changes, and effects on the nerves and/or muscles in the limbs.
Contrary to the findings, the packaging of most products carried claims such as ‘pesticide-free’, ‘free from chemicals and toxic substances’, among others, which are misleading, the study concluded.