Photo courtesy of Jason Cangialosi
According to The Independent, official monitoring by the Government Pesticides Residues Committee in the United Kingdom found dangerous pesticides in every orange examined. Many of the pesticides found in the oranges are suspected of causing cancer and other serious health effects ranging from damage to infants’ nervous and reproductive systems to vomiting and diarrhea in older children and adults.
About half of the pesticides found in oranges are banned for use in Britain, and more than a third were at levels that exceed danger levels established by the European Union and the U.K. Some of the pesticides found in the oranges tested are classified by the World Health Organization as “highly hazardous” or “moderately hazardous” for children under 14.
Six suspected carcinogens and six possible “gender-bender” chemicals were found in the oranges in various combinations. One orange tested contained seven different pesticides.
Despite all of this evidence, the Government Pesticides Residues Committee issued a statement saying that "no adverse health effects were anticipated" from oranges contaminated with concentrations of pesticides that exceed the legal limits.
But the Pesticides Action Committee (PAC) pointed out that government officials reached their conclusion by assuming that people don’t eat much of the orange peel, where the poisonous chemicals concentrate.
"Think how much of the peel we use in cooking, particularly at Christmas," the PAC said in a statement. "This is one surprise in the Christmas pudding that we can all do without."