Poisonous pesticides ÖKO-TEST warns against strawberries

Strawberries are a popular snack, especially in summer: whether in a cake, as jam, in ice cream, with a little powdered sugar, in a fruit salad or just like that – without anything. But the supposedly healthy snack also has its downsides. As the results of the ÖKO-TEST test (issue 5/2023) show, many of the packs that we can buy in supermarkets and discounters are contaminated with pesticides.

The sad peak value is seven pesticides in Norma’s strawberries, including sprays, which ÖKO-TEST classifies as particularly questionable. As well as Ethirimol, a fungicide that kills bees and is banned in the EU. It is not clear whether the toxin was used illegally or whether it degraded from the pesticide bupirimate that was also contained. Both options are bad, because bupirimate, like cyflumetofen, is classified as carcinogenic according to the CLP regulation.

Strawberries at ÖKO-TEST

In total, only four tested strawberry packs free from pesticidesincluding:

  • Edeka organic strawberries, Spain, class 2 – ÖKO-TEST rating: “good”
  • Rewe organic strawberries, class 2, Spain – ÖKO-TEST rating: “good”
  • Lidl strawberries, Spain, class 1 – ÖKO-TEST rating: “satisfactory”
  • Aldi Nord Frutania strawberries, Spain, class 1 – ÖKO-TEST rating: “sufficient”

Although these products are free of pesticides, some of them don’t perform “well”. Reasons for the devaluation are, for example, a lack of transparency towards ÖKO-TEST, only partially documented supply chains or only average standards in pesticide management.

Only 2 packs out of 14 score “good”.

Of a total of 14 packs of strawberries in the test, only two scored “good”. Not a single product managed to achieve the top rating of “very good” (1). After all, two more cut off “satisfactorily”, six are still “sufficient”.

Two packs of strawberries, one from Penny and one from Netto, fail with the rating “poor”. Two others (Norma and Aldi Süd) received grade 6 due to high pesticide contamination, little transparency and minimal standards and also failed the test.

In addition to the pollutants, ÖKO-TEST also criticizes the large amount of water that the farmers in Spain, the most common country of origin of the products in the test, need for cultivation.

You can read the detailed test with all the results at ÖKO-TEST.

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