Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Pesticide residues in fruit and vegetables

Results from national monitoring programmes on pesticide residues in fruit and vegetables show that in 3% of 41,000 fruit and vegetable samples taken in the Member States and Norway, maximum residue levels (MRLs) were exceeded. In a parallel coordinated EU programme, five frui...
Results from national monitoring programmes on pesticide residues in fruit and vegetables show that in 3% of 41,000 fruit and vegetable samples taken in the Member States and Norway, maximum residue levels (MRLs) were exceeded. In a parallel coordinated EU programme, five fruit and vegetables were checked for seven commonly used pesticides and two groups of pesticides. The results showed that lettuce contained the highest number of residues, followed by grapes, strawberries, apples and tomatoes.

Pesticide residue levels in foodstuffs are generally fixed for three main reasons:

- To minimise the exposure of consumers to harmful or unnecessary intake of pesticides;
- To control the correct use of pesticides;
- To ease the free circulation of products treated with pesticides in the Single Market.

A total of 73 pesticides have a maximum residue level which exists on a European level, for other pesticides MRLs, may be fixed at national level. Under EU legislation, Member States are required to take all necessary measures to ensure compliance with MRLs by carrying out random checks. The results of the most recent programme, which will be conducted on an annual basis, showed that residues from dithiocarbamates were found most often and exceeded the respective MRLs most often. The highest value found exceeded the MRL provided for in the legislation by more than ten times.

Subjects

Agriculture - Safety
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top