Dubai: The Ministry of Environment and Water destroyed 378,194 tonnes of imported fruits and vegetables after tests showed that they contained a pesticide residue level higher than the rate allowed.

According to a report issued by the ministry, the fruits and vegetables were destroyed after a survey was carried out.

The reports points out that since the beginning of 2010 up to August, the ministry carried out a survey that inspected 2,315 samples of imported and locally grown fruits and vegetables.

The survey showed that 80.6 per cent of the samples were free from residue, while 10 per cent had the maximum rate of residue level allowed, with 9.29 per cent exceeding it.

The ministry launched an initiative to tighten the management and control of pesticides in accordance with resolution No. 3/87 of 2009 issued by the Ministerial Service Council.

The initiative aims to achieve an integrated national system to control, monitor the distribution, use of pesticides, and their level of residue on food commodities.

According to the ministry's up-to-date pesticide list, the report pointed out that 228 agricultural pesticides are currently banned, and another 50 are restricted by the ministry. The report also shows that 71 public health pesticides were banned, and 31 are restricted.