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Food and Health E-ssentials

Your regular update for technical and industry information

EU Commission issues report on pesticide residues in food

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has released its latest report evaluating the occurrence of pesticides in major food product groups consumed in the European Union.

The report, “The 2016 European Union report on pesticide residues in food,” summarises the results of testing conducted in 2016 by food safety authorities in EU Member States, as well as Iceland and Norway. EFSA’s analysis determined that, of the nearly 85,000 food samples analysed, pesticide residues fell within legal limits in over 81,000 samples (96.2 percent). Further, more than half of the samples evaluated (50.7 percent) were free of quantifiable residues, while 45.5 percent of samples contained residues that did not exceed mandated maximum residue levels (MRLs).

Despite the relatively low risk associated with pesticide residues in food products, the report also includes a number of recommendations aimed at increasing the efficiency of food safety control systems in the EU, thereby contributing to a high level of consumer protection.

The text of the EU’s 2016 report on pesticides residues in food is available here. An interactive “data visualisation tool” that can be used to evaluate results by food and results by country is available here.

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