Pesticides are present in 58% of ultra-processed meals

An unprecedented survey printed this Wednesday (27) reveals that meals of animal origin consumed by hundreds of Brazilians day-after-day, corresponding to mortadella, industrial cottage cheese and sausages, include pesticide residues.

The second a part of the examine “There’s poison on this package deal”, carried out by the Brazilian Institute for Client Safety (Idec), analyzed 24 ultra-processed meals produced from meat and dairy merchandise and located the presence of pesticides within the composition of 58%. merchandise. A minimum of one pesticide was detected in all manufacturers of sausage, beef hamburger and hen fingers analyzed within the examine.

The poison champion was Seara’s breaded hen. In response to analysis, 5 substances had been present in it, amongst them glyphosate and glufosinate. Then again, Itambé requeijão and hen nuggets from Sadia and Perdigão had concentrations of drugs greater than these allowed of their staple meals.

Roast hen was the meals with the best variety of pesticides recognized, together with glyphosate and glufosinate. (Photograph: Alfonso Charles/Pixabay)

Anvisa (Nationwide Well being Surveillance Company) doesn’t set most limits for pesticide residues in ultra-processed merchandise, however supplies benchmarks from staple meals. For instance, within the case of coated hen, scientists had been capable of establish the presence above the permitted restrict of the pesticide methylpyrimiphos, which has a most residue restrict for hen or the by-product that serves as the premise for the manufacturing of nuggets. Different pesticides, corresponding to bifenthrin, would not have outlined most limits for meals used as uncooked materials for ultra-processed merchandise, which prevents the evaluation of the presence of pesticides above the permitted stage.

Anvisa didn’t reply to a report on whether or not a product that exceeds the restrict set for its staple meals may very well be withdrawn from the market. The company solely suggested that in instances the place pesticide residues are detected above the permitted stage, it’s essential to conduct a danger evaluation and establish the potential danger to the well being of the patron. “First, you will need to make clear that residues above the MRL [Limite Máximo de Resíduo] report a kind of non-conformity that doesn’t essentially pose a danger to the well being of the patron. The MRL is an agronomic parameter derived from subject research simulating the right use of pesticides by farmers,” Anvisa mentioned. (Learn the company’s full response right here).

For Idec, Anvisa should take away these merchandise from the cabinets to ensure client security.

Based mostly on the report, Seara Alimentos mentioned that “all evaluated merchandise respect the parameters for meals regulated by Anvisa”. BRF Meals, the proprietor of the Sadia and Perdigão manufacturers, emphasised that it “internally applies strict high quality requirements which might be consistent with Anvisa and MAPA rules. [Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento] and are acknowledged by numerous management authorities”. (Learn the businesses’ full responses right here).

A couple of 12 months in the past, the institute revealed that 59% of meals consumed primarily by youngsters, corresponding to breakfast cereals, cookies and milk drinks, even have some type of pesticide of their composition. This time, scientists determined to check merchandise of animal origin to confirm that even after the our bodies of those animals have been metabolized and the meat and milk processed, it should nonetheless be potential to establish the residues of those poisons, which has been confirmed.

Pesticides seem in dairy and meat merchandise in two methods. The primary is instantly, for instance, from the appliance of drugs to animals to stop parasite infestation. The second is feed produced from soybeans, corn and different cereals, i.e. crops that intensively use pesticides. Analysis exhibits that 63% of the poisons utilized in Brazil are used to develop soybeans and 77% of grain manufacturing is used as animal feed.

“The information is worrying as a result of it creates the picture that the meals that reaches the desk of the Brazilian inhabitants, whether or not for youngsters, adults or the aged, incorporates pesticide residues,” says Rafael Rioja, coordinator of sustainable consumption at Idec.

(credit score: Lucas Malfa/Repórter Brasil/Agência Pública)

The survey additionally brings one other disturbing determine. Glyphosate may very well be detected in 37% of merchandise. The lively substance is classed as in all probability carcinogenic by the Worldwide Company for Analysis on Most cancers (IARC) and is most generally utilized in Brazil. Though Anvisa is among the pesticides that kills most Brazilians, it has determined to maintain its registration after a 12-year overview.

Glyphosate is just not the one one attracting the eye of researchers. Of the eight pesticides detected, six are associated to the onset of persistent illnesses. Glufosinate, used as a substitute for glyphosate, has been linked to embryo malformations and issues within the central nervous system in checks on rats.

Bifenthrin, fipronil, and cypermethrin are categorised as doubtlessly carcinogenic by the US Environmental Safety Company. Chlorpyrifos has been linked to neurodevelopmental issues, particularly in youngsters. Final 12 months, the US company banned the usage of this pesticide within the nation. It’s the subsequent prime 10 promoting pesticide in Brazil.

The Idec coordinator additionally attracts consideration to the well being penalties that may be attributable to the mixture of various pesticides. “5 completely different parts had been discovered within the nuggets, 9 in 2021 within the tube. The examine exhibits that, along with being doubtlessly carcinogenic in isolation, pesticides are a cocktail that will increase the chance,” Rioja factors out.

In response to the researcher, there’s a lack of research that analyze the interplay of those substances in organisms and the principles that outline the boundaries for this combination, each in meals and in water. The European Union, for instance, has a particular regulation that determines the utmost values ​​of cocktails in every liter of water. Right here, Anvisa solely defines particular person limits.

Though the potential of pesticides in ultra-processed merchandise is already recognized to authorities businesses and firms, nothing has been executed to create guidelines that outline most residue limits for these meals.

In response to Idec, the outcomes of the survey had been “welcomed and accepted by Anvisa”. The company already analyzes some processed merchandise—derived instantly from meals in natura—in its Program for Pesticide Residue Evaluation in Meals (PARA). That is the case with wheat flour and soy drink.

In response to Brazil reporter and Agência Pública final 12 months, the company mentioned it needed to steadily embody new merchandise in its monitoring. Nonetheless, along with not growing the variety of analyzed meals, Anvisa has not printed new PARA outcomes since 2019.

Anvisa, which was sought once more by the report, mentioned the meals evaluation program is scheduled to be printed later this 12 months and mentioned the inclusion of ultra-processed merchandise “requires a preliminary examine to confirm which merchandise finest correspond to meals consumption.” Brazilian inhabitants, in addition to the potential of detecting residues in these merchandise by monitoring processing components that show the proportion of lively substance and metabolites that stay within the processed meals”.

Vigor mentioned in an announcement that it didn’t have entry to the technical knowledge of the survey performed by Idec to investigate and monitor the product batch. “The corporate emphasizes that it always carries out inside management packages in all its factories and milk assortment stations, in addition to monitoring by laboratories accredited within the Brazilian high quality community Leite-RBQL, which haven’t verified the presence of pesticides, acaricides and pesticides in its merchandise”. Institute chargeable for analysis claims to have contacted all the businesses listed within the examine.

Aurora Alimentos mentioned it might not reply the questions he requested Brazil reporter and that it’s going to request clarification of the methodology of the checks carried out by Idec. (Learn the businesses’ full responses right here).

The sought-after dairy producer Itambé didn’t reply to questions by the deadline of this report.


This report is a part of the Por Trás do Alimento mission, a partnership between Agência Pública and Repórter Brasil to research pesticide use. Click on to learn full protection on the mission web site.

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