May 07, 2006

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Can Greenpeace say sorry now?

A few weeks back Greenpeace made a big splash with the shocking and scary announcement that some vegetables stocked in supermarkets in Hong Kong had dangerous levels of pesticide (fellow blogger HK Dave looked at the issue when it hit the headlines - read the comments). They got the requisite front page coverage, the supermarkets immediately took the suspect produce off the shelves and an investigation was duly ordered.

Today, buried deep in the SCMP, comes the investigations results:

Test results on vegetable samples from supermarket chains following pesticide claims were satisfactory, the government said yesterday. The tests were conducted after Greenpeace said last month that some vegetables sold at two major supermarket chains contained banned pesticides and excessive levels of other chemicals.

Mak Sin-ping, of the Centre for Food Safety, was satisfied by the test results, saying: "Let's say if some indicators were passed, it does not automatically mean the sample is poisonous. It depends on the quantity that was eaten."

A government spokesman said: "The testing method was also in accordance with Codex Alimentarius Commission's guidelines as well as international practice. That means tests were conducted on the whole edible portion of the vegetable...The 39 samples were tested for 70 pesticides.

Much ado about nothing and all that. Funny how it doesn't seem to get the same headlines. Anyone seen Greenpeace's press release?

posted by Simon on 05.07.06 at 09:31 AM in the Hong Kong category.


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One thing though - did the govt test the same vegetable samples that Greenpeace tested? I couldn't figure that out from the SCMP article. It's one thing to test completely different samples and say there's nothing to worry about, it's another to test the same samples and say it's all ok.

posted by: Adrian on 05.07.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

It's important to treat Greenpeace with a hefty bit of skepticism.

posted by: doug on 05.07.06 at 05:52 PM [permalink]

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