Colombia: evaluation of pesticide residues in honey

Posted on February 7, 2014 • Filed under: Agriculture, Colombia


To assess potential exposure of bees to chemicals contaminants, pesticides and other management practices of local beekeepers and farmers, four Colombian regions were surveyed and residue concentrations were determined on some pesticides used and others banned for honey. A total of 61 honey samples were collected and analyzed during 2011. Residual levels of selected insecticides, fungicides and acaricides were determined by a multiresidue method, using gas chromatography with nitrogen phosphorous detector/micro electron capture detector for the analysis and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry detector to confirmation. In this study, pesticide residues were identified in 32 samples (52.4% incidence), where organochlorine and organophosphorus pesticides were frequently found. The main detected compounds were chlorpyrifos (36.1% incidence), followed by profenofos (16.4% incidence), DDT (6.6% incidence), HCB, γ-HCH (4.9% incidence) and fenitrothion (1.6% incidence).

However, the found concentrations found were low and just 4.9% of the samples exceeded the MRL concentration established in Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 by European Parliament. According to the survey results, it is highly probable that the honey contamination produced in Colombia beekeeping regions under study, is caused by agricultural practices developed around of the hives installed. Read Article

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