Israeli farmers use FBI, CIA tech on vegetables

Agricultural organization employing technologies to monitor pesticide presence in their vegetables.

February 18, 2013 01:52
2 minute read.
Scientists at the Lab Path center

Scientists at the Lab Path center 370. (photo credit: Beauty of Vegetables Organization)


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An Israeli agricultural organization is employing the same advanced technologies to monitor pesticide presence in their vegetables as the FBI and CIA are using to prevent potential chemical terrorism in America.

Yofi Shel Yerakot (“Beauty of Vegetables”), an agricultural association based in Ein Yahav, is using these instruments prior to marketing vegetables in order to ensure that all peppers, eggplants, melons, watermelons and tomatoes are free of hazardous pesticides before making it to the market. The equipment enables the identification of hundreds of different pesticides in a single test, with the ability to pinpoint tiny dangerous particles hidden within thousands of billions of other particles, according to Yofi Shel Yerakot CEO Daniel Lev.

The device can identify 300 different pesticides even in complex mixtures, including materials that arrive unannounced by air or by greenhouse equipment, the association said. Providing nearly complete supervision of the vegetables, the equipment is also capable of monitoring air and water used during the growth process to examine bacterial growth, Lev explained.

Vegetables under Yofi Shel Yerakot jurisdiction cannot be picked without laboratory approval, and if a failure is identified, the produce is not marketed until complete treatment of the grounds occurs, an association statement said.

After harvesting the vegetables, each crop then must undergo a quality control check according to several parameters in order to determine its destination in either the private consumer or industrial market. For example, a pepper with a scratched appearance would not match consumer market standards but would be very beneficial for industry, the statement explained.

“Without warning, they come to the fields and take crops to check in the laboratory,” Rami Sade, an agronomist for Yofi Shel Yerakot told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

The crops under the association’s authority undergo their testing through an Israeli firm called Lab Path, which imports the same equipment used by the FBI and the CIA. Unlike the American intelligence organizations, the Ein Yahav association does not actually use the technology to check for chemical terror in the crops – but the incredibly expensive, sophisticated equipment allows Israeli agriculturists to ensure that the vegetables they sell are entirely residue free and safe to eat, Sade explained.

Each test alone costs NIS 100, and Lab Path conducts thousands of tests for the association each year, he said.

Including about 90 percent of the farms located in Ein Yahav, Yofi Shel Yerakot generates approximately 17,000 tons of vegetables for the domestic market each year, and an additional 17,000 tons for the United States and European markets, association information said.

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