Aromatic curry leaves turn poisonous: study in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: The curry leaves which are a must-have in Indian dishes have turned poisonous thanks to the pesticides added to the cultivated curry leaves. The poisonous pesticides cause cancer and lead to health problems in the long run. This was revealed by a study conducted by researchers at Prof Jayashankar Agricultural University, Hyderabad. The study found that farmers use 50 harmful chemicals to kill insects, fungus and other pests which results in contamination of curry leaves

The researchers are said to have analysed 75 samples of curry leaves from three districts of twin states _ Medak, Guntur and Anantapur. The study found more than one chemical in all the samples. Chemicals included permethrin, ethion, chlorpyriphos, quinalphos, monocrotophos and triazophos.

Guntur topped the list which had the highest number of chemicals (45), followed by Medak (39) and Anantapur (28). It must be noted that the Hyderabad market is served by farmers from Medak district.

According to the researchers, all the samples were laced with organophosphates (29.6%), synthetic pyrethroids (20.69%), fungicides (13.79%), neo-nicotinoids (10.34%), herbicides (6.90%) and carbamates (3.45%).

Scientists advise people to soak curry leaves in water for at least 15 minutes before using.