Sukumawiki (kale) is the most common food in most households in Kenya. A recent study done in Nairobi, Kajiado and Kirinyaga has shown this vegetable is laden with pesticides harmful to both humans and the environment.
The research by Kephis and the Consumer Grassroots Association revealed that out of 10 sukumawiki samples tested, nine were contaminated with toxic pesticides. It further added that the effect is more severe for those who do not cook them properly.
“Pesticide use or misuse was ranked the highest most concerning food safety issue at 87 per cent, followed by lack of proper sanitation in the market at 60 per cent. Contamination during preparation was ranked lowest at 37 per cent in terms of consumer concerns,” says the report.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 200 diseases emanate from unsafe foods that contain bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances.
Pest Control Products Board (PCPB) general manager Paul Ngaruiya said they are aware of the danger caused by these pesticides on vegetables and that they are now reviewing more than 200 pesticides following a request by the National Assembly in the light of the petition.
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