123 types of pesticide found on produce provided by Department of Health's School Fruit & Veg scheme

Pesticide Action Network UK has released a new report which has found that children in England are being exposed to a cocktail of pesticide residues in the fresh produce they receive through the Department of Health’s School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme (SFVS). These pesticides have documented potential to harm human health, especially the health of young children who are particularly vulnerable to their impacts. The report also found that for just 1p per child, all of the core produce given out through the Department of Health’s School Fruit and Vegetable scheme could be switched to organic.

Rob Percival, Soil Association policy officer, said: 

“These findings highlight the benefits of serving organic fruit and veg in schools. Through our Food for Life scheme we’re getting organic produce on the menus of schools around the UK, including in some of the most deprived areas. Food for Life is demonstrating that public procurement can be a powerful tool for change – if more contracts specified Food for Life standards then more schools would be serving fresh, good quality, tasty, UK-sourced fruit and vegetables, with low or no pesticides in them – the benefits would be realised not only by children, but by British farmers.” 

Find out more about the Food for Life schools programme.