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Cancer chemicals in your vegetables?

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Vegetables you cook with everyday (cabbage, kale, beans, morning glory, chilli) may have cancer-causing chemicals in them. 


Photo above of consumer advocate and activist Saree Ongsomwang, left, and Withoon Liemchamroom, director of BioThai Foundation, as they voice their concerns about contamination of vegetables (Photo: Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)

Read previous Bangkok Post article on call by exporters for speedy approval of the pesticide discussed in today's article here.

Read another article with details on chemical contamination: "Know where to buy your healthy veggies" here.

Click button to listen to Cancer Causing Chemicals on Vegetables to download

CONSUMER

Cancer-causing chemical residues found in vegetables

12/07/2012  

Consumer activists have called on the Agriculture and Cooperative Ministry to ban the use and registration of four farm chemicals after residues of two cancer-causing pesticides were found on several vegetables sold in the market.

Foundation for Consumers manager Saree Ongsomwang yesterday said laboratory tests had found residues of carbofuran and methomyl on several vegetables that are popular in home cooking.

Samples of seven common vegetables - cabbage, Chinese kale, long beans, Chinese cabbage, morning glory, coriander and Jinda chilli - were sent to the Department of Medical Science's laboratory in March for traces of chemical residues.

The vegetables were taken from the shelves of large supermarkets in Bangkok.

The tests showed the vegetables supplied to or marketed by the stores were contaminated with farm chemicals exceeding the safety standard.

Withoon Liemchamroom, director of BioThai Foundation, said a leading chemical firm was behind a recent move by a group of mango growers to push for the registration of methomyl.

He called on the Department of Agriculture under the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry to reject the group's request to register the four toxic farm chemicals - methomyl, carbofuran, dicrotophos and EPN - to protect farmers and consumers from cancer-causing substances.

The Thai Mango Growers Association last week called on the ministry to register methomyl, which repels pests that threaten mango yields and exports.

Some countries that are markets for mangoes permit the use of methomyl on the fruit in reasonable amounts.

The Dangerous Substances Act, which took effect in August last year, requires all pesticides to be registered before they can be sold. Methomyl has not been registered, although many farmers still spray the pesticide on their orchards.

Mr Withoon dismissed claims the export market for mangoes would be affected if methomyl was not registered.

(Source: Bangkok Post, CONSUMER, Cancer-causing chemical residues found in vegetables, 12/07/2012, link)   


Pesticide Contamination Vocabulary 

consumers
- people who buy things or services (individuals and families)

consumer activism
- the activity of helping consumers by protecting goods and services that can harm them or companies that don't do business with them fairly (See Wikipedia)

activist - a person who takes part in activities to create social or political change (See Wikipedia)
consumer activists - a person who does consumer activism as their job

advocate - someone who strongly and publicly supports someone or something ผู้การสนับสนุน (องค์อุปถัมภก)  ผู้สนับสนุน สาวก
consumer advocate

pests - insects or small animals which are harmful and annoying สัตว์ที่ทำลาย, สัตว์ที่รบกวน

pesticide - chemicals to kill insects that eat and destroy plants (See Wikipedia) ยาฆ่าแมลง
insecticide - Same as "pesticide"

carbofuran - a very toxic pesticide "used to control insects in a wide variety of field crops, including potatoes, corn and soybeans... usage has increased in recent years because it is one of the few insecticides effective on soybean aphids, which have expanded their range since 2002 to include most soybean-growing regions of the U.S." (See Wikipedia)

methomyl - an insecticide introduced in 1966 but use is restricted because of high toxicity to humans, "current primary use is on alfalfa for forage, The EU and UK have imposed these restrictions by allowing a maximum pesticide residue limit of 0.02 mg/kg for apples and oranges"  (See Wikipedia)

dicrotophos
- (See Wikipedia)

EPN -
a highly poisonous (toxic) insecticide used for crops in many countries (See Toxipedia)

voice - to express your feelings or opinions ออกความคิด
concerns - worries; things or issues that people worry about and think a lot about ความกังวล
voice concerns

contamination - made dirty and dangerous to use or eat after exposure to dirt, germs, chermicals, or radiation
contamination of vegetables

Consumer advocate Saree Ongsomwang, left, and Withoon Liemchamroom, director of BioThai Foundation, voice their concerns about contamination of vegetables

residues - the part that remains after the rest has gone away
chemical residues

cancer-causing chemical
residues - Also known as "carcinogens"or "carginogenic chemicals"
carginogen -
any substance involved in causing cancer (See Wikipedia)

Cancer-causing chemical residues found in vegetables

ban - officially not allowed to do something ห้ามอย่างเป็นทางการ การประกาศห้าม  การห้าม ห้าม 
ban use of

registration - recording in an official list

Consumer activists have called on the Agriculture and Cooperative Ministry to ban the use and registration of four farm chemicals after residues of two cancer-causing pesticides were found on several vegetables sold in the market. Foundation for Consumers manager Saree Ongsomwang yesterday said laboratory tests had found residues of carbofuran and methomyl on several vegetables that are popular in home cooking.

common - seen often; found often; occuring frequently
common vegetables

traces - very small amounts of a substance ร่องรอย
traces of chemical residues

Samples of seven common vegetables - cabbage, Chinese kale, long beans, Chinese cabbage, morning glory, coriander and Jinda chilli - were sent to the Department of Medical Science's laboratory in March for traces of chemical residues.  The vegetables were taken from the shelves of large supermarkets in Bangkok.

contaminated - made dirty, polluted or poisonous by the addition of a chemical, waste or infection
contaminated with farm chemicals

standard - a level of quality or achievement that people should meet or go beyond
safety standard

exceeding - passing a limit, going beyond, having more than amount allowed
exceeding the safety standard

farm chemicals exceeding the safety standard

The tests showed the vegetables supplied to or marketed by the stores were contaminated with farm chemicals exceeding the safety standard.

firm - a business or company บริษัท
leading chemical firm - one of the most important chemical companies

recent move
- recent action, something that someone did a short time ago
firm behind a recent move - the firm was the one who acted (or caused someone else to act)

push for
- try hard to make people do something (example: the consumer activists pushed for a new law to protect consumers)

register - make an official record of something with the government; have name put on an official list (and receive permission to do something) ลงทะเบียน ขึ้นทะเบียน (ขอใบอนุญาต)
request to register

registration of -
put on an official government list (and get official government permission to do something) 
push for the registration of methomyl

reject - to not agree with a request, offer or proposal ปฏิเสธ ไม่ยอมรับ
reject request

toxic - poisonous and harmful to people, animals or the environment เป็นพิษ มีพิษ,เป็นพิษ
toxic farm chemicals

chemical substance -
a kind of solid, liquid or gas made from chemicals วัตถุเคมี, สารที่ได้จากการสังเคราะห์โดยกรรมวิธีทางเคมี
substance -
Same as "chemical substance"

cancer-causing substances - Same as "carcinogens" above

protect farmers and consumers from cancer-causing substances

Withoon Liemchamroom, director of BioThai Foundation, said a leading chemical firm was behind a recent move by a group of mango growers to push for the registration of methomyl. He called on the Department of Agriculture under the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry to reject the group's request to register the four toxic farm chemicals - methomyl, carbofuran, dicrotophos and EPN - to protect farmers and consumers from cancer-causing substances.

ministry - a government department dealing with an area of activity กระทรวง

repels - protects from pests, defends against pests, prevents pests from eating or damaging a plant
repels pests

yields - how much crop a farmer gets from farming one hectare of land ผลผลิต
mango yields

threaten - create some danger (possibility of harm, damage and injury)
threaten mango yields

The Thai Mango Growers Association last week called on the ministry to register methomyl, which repels pests that threaten mango yields and exports.

reasonable -
reasonable amounts
use in reasonable amounts

Some countries that are markets for mangoes permit the use of methomyl on the fruit in reasonable amounts.

registered - officially recorded as a business with the government (and given permission to operate) 
registered pesticides

orchard -
a fruit farm สวนผลไม้

spray -
ฉีด
spray pesticide on orchard


The Dangerous Substances Act, which took effect in August last year, requires all pesticides to be registered before they can be sold. Methomyl has not been registered, although many farmers still spray the pesticide on their orchards.

dismissed - refused to accept that something might be true or important ปฏิเสธ considered something to be unimportant or not good enough to be taken seriously แย้งกลับ โต้กลับ
dismissed claims

Mr Withoon dismissed claims the export market for mangoes would be affected if methomyl was not registered.

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