A study using samples of French and Spanish grown strawberries on sale in Upper Normandy and Picardy by Generations Future, an environmental protection organisation approved by the Ministry of Ecology, found that 91.83 contained pesticide residues of which 71.42 had endocrine disrupting chemicals regarded as having an adverse affect on health.
The group claimed that even at low doses the endocrine chemicals can impair the development of endocrine glands, which supply hormones to vital organs.
Of 49 samples analyzed, the chemicals were found in 65% of French strawberries and 78% of Spanish strawberries tested in an approved laboratory.
Banned insecticides were also discovered in two samples grown in France and two grown in Spain. These included endosulfan, a chemical that has been banned in Europe since 2005 and carbosulfan which has been banned since 2007 and other suspect chemicals including flonicamid, acetamiprid, spirotetramat and dimetomorphe.
FranÃ§ois Veillerette, spokesman for Generations Future, said that the French authorities should take action to reduce exposure to these chemicals in one of the countryâ€™s most popular fruits.
The presence of banned pesticides in 18% of the samples tested is unacceptable. We are alerting the authorities of the need to take action to reduce human exposure to these chemicals,â€™ he added.
He also pointed out that there must be growers either with large stocks of these banned chemicals which they are still using or they are still being sold in Europe from countries outside of the European Union. He hinted that there could be a black trade in the chemicals.
Mr Veillerette said that the results have been sent to the Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and Repression of Fraud for further investigation.
He warned that exposure to PE pesticides, even at a low dose, is especially dangerous for the foetus if eaten by a pregnant woman and young children.