Food for thought!
The next time you go to buy frozen fruit or vegetables from the grocery store, please look at where the product is from, you will often find they are from Mexico/Chile/Eastern Europe. However, do you know the laws in those countries on the use of pesticides? If your answer is no, that is not unusual!
What concerns us is this information such as this :
The United States relies heavily on the importation of food produced from countries, such as Mexico: 25 percent of all fresh and frozen produce in the US is imported, 50 percent of which comes from Mexico. Furthermore, these figures are increasing.
While the US increases its reliance on Mexican produce, Mexico has increased its reliance on pesticide imports and is currently the second largest pesticide importer in Latin America (Tansey, 56).
The problem is harmful pesticides cause toxicity and this threatens US consumers in the “circle of poison” effect in which unregistered or banned pesticides are exported to Mexico and sprayed on crops whose produce is then exported back to the US (Hanson, 16). A study conducted by the National Academy of Scientists estimates that in the next 70 years, one million additional cases of cancer in the US will be caused by pest residues (Tansey, 55).
Why would you buy produce from overseas when we have excellent produce right here in Canada? The Canadian Food Inspection Agency monitors the amount of pesticides on foods that are produced in Canada and those that are imported. This is done regularly to make sure that only foods with safe levels of pesticides are available.
The maximum amount of pesticides that are allowed to remain on food is set by Health Canada to make sure the foods are safe. This is known as Maximum Residue Limit or MRL. These limits are set for fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products, grains and some processed foods.
While we may not know for sure which foods have been sprayed with pesticides and how much residue is left on what we eat, we do know that regulatory agencies in Canada aim to provide safe food for Canadians and encourage the protection of our environment.
So why wouldn’t you buy Canadian?
Relevant Literature :
Hanson, David J. “Administration Seeks Tighter Curbs on Exports of Unregistered Pesticides,” Chemical and Engineering News, February 14, 1994, v72n7, p.16-17.
Tansey, Richard. “Eradicating the Pesticide Problem in Latin America,” Business and Society Review, Winter 1995, n92, p.55-59.
Mexpest case from American University – Mexican Use of Unregistered US Pesticide Exports