Pesticide-monitoring plan

Kathmandu, July 20:

The Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) is launching a pesticide residue-monitoring programme.

The programme includes the development of techniques to monitor the use of pesticides while producing the food items for export and monitoring production mechanism on the spot.

“The programme is being launched after cases of refusal of Nepali food items in the international market surfaced,” said Jiwan Prava Lama, deputy director-general of the DFTQC.

“The European Union rejected exported Nepali tea and honey recently, stating that it had high pesticide residue,” said Nava Raj Dahal, a food researcher at the DFTQC. The programme will help understand the production mechanism of food products to be exported.

“As a WTO member, we have obligations to fulfil to compete in the international market. The programme will help harmonise our products with the international standard.”

Pesticide residues affect the international and local markets and may cause diseases. Consumption of food items with pesticide residue can cause nervous system toxicity, adverse immune function, skin allergy and cancer.