KATHMANDU, July 23: Carbamate residue has been found in vegetables brought to the Kathmandu Valley from different districts.
According to Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DoFTQC), carbamate residue has been found in fruits and vegetables entering the market through Kalanki, Balaju, Jorpati and Suryabinayak of Bhaktapur. “Of the 131 samples tested, we found high carbamate residue in vegetables like tomato, cabbage and cauliflower brought to the Valley from Kavre and Sindhupalchowk districts.
Carbamate is a pesticide used by farmers to treat insect attack in their crop.
According to a study entitled 'Carbamates: Human Exposure and Health Effects' conducted in 2012, the presence of pesticide residues is a concern for consumers because carbamates are known to have potential harmful effects to other non-targeted organisms than pests and diseases. The major concerns are their toxic effects such as interfering with the reproductive systems and foetal development, it added.
“It is worrying to note that some of the most-consumed vegetables have high carbamate residue. Farmers are using excess pesticides and fertilizers to increase production. This has to stop,” Madan Chapagain, a deputy spokesperson with the department, told Republica. “Pesticide residue is high in tomato.”
The department has been testing samples of cauliflower, cabbage, capsicum, coriander, and tomato, among other vegetables, throughout the year.
“Extensive use of pesticides and fertilizers show that there is an immediate need to raise awareness about its impact on human health. If needed, the government should not hesitate to take action against farmers or farmers groups that are found using excess pesticides and chemical fertilizers,” he added.
Mohan Ojha, an officer at the department, told Republica that around 15 harmful chemicals have been found in fruits and vegetables. “Of them, carbamate is very harmful,” he said, adding that the department does not have the facility to test pesticide residue at all entry points.