Your Cactus Tacos Could Be Contaminated With Dangerous Pesticides
You might want to reconsider ordering nopales tacos instead of the street meat.
A batch of cactus which were distributed at at least three outlets in Los Angeles contains dangerous amounts of the pesticide monocrotophos, which according to the LA Weekly is "extremely toxic to birds and is used as a bird poison. It is also very poisonous to mammals. It is used to control a variety of sucking, chewing and boring insects and spider mites on cotton, sugarcane, peanuts, ornamentals and tobacco. It is also highly toxic to bees."
The California Department of Public Health warns that the cactus, which was sold at La Sucursal Produce on Central Avenue in Los Angeles on Feb. 6, 2014; Fresh American Produce on Mission Road in Los Angeles on Feb. 7, 2014; J&L Produce on Central Avenue in Los Angeles on Feb. 6, 2014 shouldn't be eaten.
Of course, the problem is that considering the date it was sold, it's probably already been consumed. Or that it ended up in unmarked bulk bins where it's hard to keep track of what's what.
Which is definitely not a good thing, since the side-effects of monocrotophos include neurotoxicity and permanent nerve damage, according to Food Safety News. Symptoms of acute poisoning may include sweating, headache, weakness, nausea, vomiting, hypersalivation, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. No illnesses have been reported yet, but because of the delay in recall it's hard to make correlations in hospital bills.
The FDA is doing some research to figure out how to prevent tainted shipments from getting into the US in the future, but it's admittedly bonkers that they weren't doing so in the first place.