CERES Community Environment Park has welcomed the outcomes of produce tissue test results conducted the 29 November 2011 and more substantial tests on 23 January 2012.
CERES Chairperson Robert Larocca said the test results confirm that no produce sold from CERES market gardens had posed a public health risk.
‘Food tested from the various market gardens contained levels of lead safely within the standards set by the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. These results confirm previous results from testing commissioned by CERES, also in November 2011.
‘Visitors and customers of CERES can have faith that the food they purchase is safe. CERES market gardens have been organically certified since 2003 and through Fair Food we are one of the largest purchasers of Victorian grown organic produce in the state.
‘It is unfortunate that Council results have also corroborated previous findings by CERES that some plots in the Community Gardens contained some produce outside of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code levels. These are isolated and contained in fenced parts of the main CERES site, which are not accessible to the general public. We will work with Community Gardeners and Council to remediate the plots affected.
‘At no time has food grown on the site been sold to the public whilst there was a concern over its safety. The original concern arose after testing by visiting students, suggested excessive lead levels in some produce grown on site. After that CERES acted responsibly to cease supplying potentially affected food, while rigorous testing was undertaken by Council and CERES.
‘We are very proud of the work undertaken by the community over the last 30 years to turn what was once a tip into productive urban oasis. We know that there is, however, always more work needed to ensure it remains that way,’ Mr Larocca concluded.
For detailed information please visit safefood.ceres.org.au
CERES Chairperson Robert Larocca is available for further comment 0409 198 350 or firstname.lastname@example.org