Pesticide contamination found in cocoa beans

Photo credit: Indi Samarajiva Photo credit: Indi Samarajiva

According to a recent study, cocoa beans may be contaminated with multiple organophosphorus and synthetic pyrethroid pesticides. Researchers examined concentrations of pesticide residues from 16 farms in Ghana, running tests on 13 organophosphorus and 9 synthetic pyrethroid pesticides. They found three organophosphorus pesticides (chlorpyrifos, pirimiphos-methyl, and diazinon) and six synthetic pyrethroid pesticide residues (allethrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, deltamethrin, cypermethrin, bifenthrin, and permethrin). While none of these pesticides exceeded the European Union Maximum Residue Limits for cocoa beans, the findings highlight the importance of choosing organic chocolate if you want to minimize your exposure to pesticides.  The authors of the study recommend routine monitoring of pesticide residues to reduce the health risks associated with these pesticides.