Spiders Sour the Grapes

Nov 27, 2002
George Anderson

By George Anderson

A bizarre report out of England from the BBC says that three shoppers that bought grapes from Tesco found black widow spiders in the bunch when they brought them home.

The grapes, grown in the US, raised food safety concerns of a different kind because black widows (two of three were alive) are highly venomous. The bite of a black widow spider “is 15 times more potent than a rattlesnake”.

Tesco had no immediate answer for why the spiders made the trip across the Atlantic. It did deny, however, that growers were using the spiders to cut down on the need for pesticide use in grapes.

The demand for more unadulterated crops has led farmers to use natural predators to protect crops and reduce pesticide use. Jonathan Church, spokesperson, Tesco, offered the opinion that, “It is possible that is why the spiders in these three cases have got through because if we had used pesticides they would be dead.”

Moderator’s Comment: What is your reaction to this

Truth really is stranger than fiction. We’ll be extra
careful washing our grapes before setting them out for the family.
Anderson – Moderator

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