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The State

May 03, 1987

The California Department of Food and Agriculture said eating purslane imported from Mexico could be dangerous. Department spokesman Julio Calderon said about 900 bunches of the Rancho El Pirul brand purslane--a fleshy-leaved vegetable used primarily in Mexican dishes--shipped into the Los Angeles area and distributed by Seasons Produce Co. were found to be contaminated with 9.2 parts per million of the pesticide methamidophos. That is roughly 10 times more than is acceptable, Calderon said, and while scientists do not believe the level high enough to cause serious illness, if "someone in a weak state were to eat some, it could bring on diarrhea, vomiting or nausea."

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