The Union Government on Wednesday submitted before the Delhi High Court that there was no need to panic over presence of pesticide residue in vegetables and fruits sold in the Capital as no banned pesticide was found in them during the laboratory test of samples of the two items lifted from different markets in the city.

However, amicus curiae in the matter, V.K. Rao, challenged the claim and urged the Court to issue a direction to the Government to enlarge the sample size for the test before arriving at a conclusion on the presence of residue of harmful pesticides in them.

The Union Government in its affidavit said the presence of residue of pesticides in these samples was within the prescribed limits under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.

A Division Bench of the Court comprising Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna was hearing the matter suo motu. The Court has taken suo motu note of a media report about rampant use of banned pesticides in vegetable and fruits sold in the Capital.

The media report quoting a study on use of banned pesticides by farmers conducted by non-government organisation Consumer Voice said the amount of pesticides used in India was as much as 750 times the European standards.

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