Residues of synthetic chemical pesticides on fruit from the EU have increased since 2011.

According to a study by the European anti-pesticide network Pan Europe published on Tuesday, around a third of the 97,000 samples of strawberries, apples and other fruits examined in 2019 contained problematic pesticide residues. In 2011 it was only 18 percent.

According to the network, since 2011 the EU member states have been supposed to increasingly use substitute products for such chemical-synthetic pesticides as insecticides that are harmful to bees or herbicides that are critical of groundwater. These types of crop protection products are considered the most risky and their authorization is strictly regulated in the EU.

The EU’s new agricultural policy also envisages reducing the use of pesticides by half by 2030. “If there are no strict measures, we don’t see how this goal could be met,” Pan Europe’s Salomé Roynel told AFP.

In Pan Europe’s study, half of the cherries examined contained residues of problematic pesticides in 2019, compared to 22 percent in 2011. For apples, the figure was 34 percent compared to 16 percent.