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Fungicides in 80% of spices and herbs of Lebanese markets

15-5-2019

A new study published by Beirut Arab University in cooperation with Italian ISPA BARI, has revealed the extensive presence of fungicides that are dangerous to human health in the spices and herbs sold on the Lebanese markets. The above study which targeted 94 samples of spices and 38 of herbs imported from around 15 countries, has shown that they are infected with 11 out of 12 types of carcinogenic toxins. It also indicated that 80% of the samples were contaminated with one specific fungal toxin, while 40% were infected with more than one type, noting that such toxins multiply due to poor storage and high humidity levels. The results of above study pointed out that 3 types of spices, including red pepper, paprika and cloves, in addition to two herbs, like rosemary and sage, are polluted with fungal toxins exceeding the internationally permitted levels. To recall, the study, which was conducted in response to a request by WHO to monitor the levels of fungal toxins in foods sold in the local markets, was supervised by the head of the nutrition department at BAU, Dr. Nada Durra. The latter said she did not want to alarm the Lebanese people, pointing to some local sources of spices that are unadulterated, specifically those exported to EU countries. (Al Mustaqbal, May 15, 2019)

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