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New report on EU pesticide monitoring

In July, the European Food Safety Authority released their latest report on EU monitoring on pesticide residues in food.

The report provides an overview of pesticide residue monitoring in food, analysed in 2007 across the 27 EU Member States and the two EFTA (European Free Trade Association) States, Norway and Iceland, who signed the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA agreement). It goes on to reveal results from the assessment of the chronic and acute risks to consumers’ health due to pesticide residues in food.

Through surveillance sampling, 4% of fruit and vegetables exceeded the Maximum Residue Limits Standards (MRL). These levels are similar to the previous year’s sampling, but these are estimated to drop next year with the new 2008 standards in place. The targeted sampling allow for an 11% exceedance in fruit & vegetables.

In 2007, 74,305 samples of 350 different food stuffs were analysed for pesticide residues under the national and the EU coordinated programmes. This included 71,936 surveillance samples and 2,369 enforcement samples. Compared with 2006, the total number of samples increased by 12.9%. This increase can be partially attributed to the fact that the two newest EU Member States, Bulgaria and Romania, have reported their data for the first time.

The number of pesticides sought in 2007 sees a 13% increase from the previous year. On average, reporting countries tested for 218 different pesticides. In total, residues of 354 different pesticides were found in measurable quantities in fruit and vegetables, while in cereals residues of 72 different pesticides were observed. The number of different pesticide residues found in fruit and vegetables in 2007 was higher than the number of pesticides found in cereals.

Read the full report

Last updated on 10 June 2011

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