Less than 2% of food samples tested by the Pesticide Residues Committee were found to have residues above the maximum permitted levels.

Of the 1,583 samples examined, 28 exceeded their maximum residue limits. However, in all cases these were "unlikely to have resulted in any health effects for consumers", said PRC chairman Dr Ian Brown.

However the Soil Association said 90% of strawberries were found to contain residues, while the organic sample did not.

British Summer Fruits hit back by saying the Soil Association was being deliberately unclear about the exact levels of pesticide residues found.