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The Truth about "Thai Food" in Thailand in 2018


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The Truth about "Thai Food" in Thailand in 2018


The Truth About Pesticides in Thailand’s Food Chain
April 11, 2018
Full article here :

The north of Thailand is blanketed by rolling green hills and rice fields, while the south blooms in abundance with tropical fruits and vegetables.

Visitors to Thailand often laud the country for its "healthy" food — noodle dishes, curries, stir fried vegetables and tofu, and overfilling plates of rice.

These dishes are generally considered healthier as they’re freshly prepared and made with local produce, but if you’ve ever watched a street vendor make your food, you’ll have noticed the copious amounts of oil, salt, sugar, sauces and MSG that cooks add to these dishes.

Moreover, visitors to Thailand may have romanticized ideas of where their food comes from: of farms and homesteads in Thailand, of mangoes and bananas pulled off of a neighbors tree perfectly ripe, of fresh ingredients found in markets that make their way to a kitchen within a day of their picking.

However, the reality is that these fantasies are more often than not oversimplifications of the Thai food industry. Indeed, those searching for organic produce may be quite shocked at the reality behind the fruits and vegetables found in Thailand’s markets and supermarket chains.

While its true that the large majority of fruit and veg is domestically produced (but some are coming from China) and through some channels quite fresh, when investigating the chemical residue lurking on the outside and inside of the produce, we are sent down a rabbit hole that seemingly never ends.

Normal fruits and vegetables in Thailand are full of chemical pesticides!
Full article here :

56% of fruit and vegetables in Thailand, have chemical pesticide residues above the maximum allowable limit!!!

This % become worse (70,2%) in modern trade outlets as Tesco Lotus, Makro and Big C!

The Q Mark is not a safe guarantee, because unsafe for 61,5%!

Fruit and vegetables in fresh markets are unsafe for 54.2% of the test.

Fruit and vegetables which have the Organic Thailand or other certified organic labels, are unsafe for 21%.

In Japan and the European Union, excessive chemical residues are only found in 4% of samples (in Thailand 56%).

In addition, samples of fruit and vegetables labelled as “safe” and “organic” were collected from major stores and supermarkets such as Gourmet Market, TOPS, Home Fresh Mart, Max Value, Villa market, Lemon Farm, Golden Place, and Foodland. The samples were analysed in a laboratory certified with the ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standard, and tested for over 450 different chemicals for chemical pesticide residues using a multi-residue pesticide screen (MRPS). Overall, it was found that, of the 158 samples of fruit and vegetables, 56% had residues above the maximum allowable limit (MRL).

“Pesticides are intended to kill unwanted organisms” but not only the agricultural results, pesticides also affect wildlife and human health, some can be lethal. More than 1,000 pesticides are widely used in agriculture in order to increase yield, improve quality and extend the storage life of crops.”

This is the 2nd report

Thai PAN has published the results of their second round of testing on chemical pesticide residues for 2016

64% of veggies 'unsafe' due to pesticides
25 Nov 2017
Full article here :

Pesticides in fruits & vegetables: Govt quality mark fails test
4 May 2016
Full article here :

Agricultural Pesticide Management in Thailand: Situation and Population Health Risk
2012 Mar, 17
Full article here :

As an agricultural country and one of the world’s major food exporters, Thailand relies heavily on the use of pesticides to protect crops and increase yields. During the past decade, the Kingdom of Thailand has experienced an approximate four-fold increase in pesticide use. This increase presents a challenge for the Royal Thai Government in effectively managing and controlling pesticide use based upon the current policies and legal infrastructure. We have reviewed several key components for managing agricultural pesticides in Thailand. One of the main obstacles to effective pesticide regulation in Thailand is the lack of a consolidated, uniform system designed specifically for pesticide management. This deficit has weakened the enforcement of existing regulations, resulting in misuse/overuse of pesticides, and consequently, increased environmental contamination and human exposure. This article provides a systematic review of how agricultural pesticides are regulated in Thailand. In addition, we provide our perspectives on the current state of pesticide management, the potential health effects of widespread, largely uncontrolled use of pesticides on the Thai people and ways to improve pesticide management in Thailand.

Thailand Pesticide Alert Network Finds Weed Killer Residues on Popular Fruits and Vegetables
November 26, 2017
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According to testing by Thailand Pesticide Alert Network (Thai-PAN), a non-governmental organization working on food safety, more than 60% of five “popular vegetables” sold in local markets contain excessive level of harmful chemical residues.

The finding was from recent testing on 150 samples of nine vegetables and six types of fruits collected in August from nine markets in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Pathum Thani, Ratchaburi and Songkhla, three major retailers, and four supermarkets.

Vegetables and fruits selected for testing are:

Five popular vegetables: Khana (Chinese kale); Tua Fak Yao (long bean); Prik Dang (red chili); Bai Kaprao (basil leaves); and Kalam Pree (cabbage)

Four popular local vegetables: Bai Bua Bok (pennywort); Cha-om (climbing wattle); Tam Lueng (ivy gourd); and Sai Bua (lotus stem)

Six fruits: grape, papaya, banana, coconut, pineapple, and dragon fruit.

Popular fruits and vegetables sold in Thailand test positive for toxins
Nov 27, 2017
Full article here :

More than 60 per cent of five popular vegetables sold in local markets contain excessive levels of harmful chemical residue, according to a testing by the Thailand Pesticide Alert Network (Thai-PAN), a non-governmental organisation working on food safety.

About 64 per cent of Chinese kale, long beans, red chili, basil leaves and cabbage samples contained chemical residue above maximum residue levels (MRL) limit, said Thai-PAN coordinator Prokchol Ousap at a press conference on Friday.

The finding came from recent testing of 150 samples of nine vegetables, which also included pennywort, climbing wattle, ivy gourd and lotus stem, as well as the six fruits: grapes, papaya, banana, coconut, pineapple and dragon fruit.

Test finds hydroponic vegetables to be more contaminated than soil-grown veg
January 23, 2018
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Hydroponic vegetables have been found to be more contaminated with chemicals than vegetables grown with soil, the Thailand Pesticide Alert Network (Thai-PAN) revealed on Monday.

After announcing the shock result of its testing on 30 hydroponic vegetable samples from across the country, Thai-PAN – along with the BioThai Foundation – urged producers and distributors of hydroponic vegetables and concerned agencies to come up with measures to reduce the use of chemicals in their cultivation, establish a standard to limit contamination, and ensure food safety for consumers.

Thai-PAN coordinator Prokchon Usap said that 19 of the 30 samples tested, or around 63 per cent, were contaminated with an unsafe level of chemicals, while three samples were found to be contaminated with chemicals at an acceptable level. No contamination was found in the other eight samples.

Prokchon pointed out that the hydroponic vegetables were found to be more toxic than traditionally grown vegetables, as an earlier test on the latter by Thai-PAN had showed that around 54.4 per cent were contaminated with a high level of chemicals.

“People often believe that hydroponic vegetables are safer from chemical contamination than traditionally grown ones, but our examination proves this belief wrong, as soil-less-grown vegetables are also found to contain 25 kinds of chemical used in agriculture,” she explained.

“An even more concerning finding from our test is that 17 of the 25 kinds of chemical are absorbent chemicals, which are very hard to clean out,” she added.

   Thai Government Revises Decision to Ban Three Major Chemicals in Vegetable and Herb Farming

Study finds high pesticide levels in local food
December 03, 2017
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Thailand : NGOs call for law forcing industry to declare discharge of toxic substances

Recent research has disclosed that serious contamination from persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and herbicides in food and the environment poses health threats to the Thai public.

The research, from Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH) and Thailand Pesticide Alert Network (Thai-PAN), found that Samut Sakhon had the highest levels of dioxin contamination. The level of contaminants known as polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans (PBDD/Fs) was 33 times higher than European Union standards, Meanwhile, 46 per cent and 55 per cent respectively of fruit and vegetables were found to contain pesticides and herbicides.

The organisations said that toxic substances posed serious health threats and the authorities had not put enough measures and regulations in place to protect the public.

Thai vegetables contain higher than acceptable levels of farm chemicals: Study
May 7, 2016
Full article here :

From now on, the all-time favourite dish, phad kapraokai (stir-fried chicken with holy basil) will never be the same, thanks to new findings by food safety advocates.

The release of the findings on Wednesday (May 4) by Thai-PAN or the Thailand Pesticide Action Network which randomly collected and sent to labs samples of veggies from our markets - many are ingredients for our popular dishes such as Chinese lettuce, kale, string beans - showed most contain farm chemical residues higher than acceptable standards. The tests for multi-residue pesticide screens (MRPS) were conducted by UK-based laboratories.

Similar results were also found in fruits, especially mandarin and guava. It was found that 100 per cent of the two collected items of the two popular fruits are too dangerous to eat. The activists collected samples from various places - wholesale markets and high-end supermarkets in Bangkok, the suburbs and in big cities.

and so on ...



Useful links :

Pesticides and chemicals on fruits and vegetables in Thailand

How healthy is food in Thailand? (2018)


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