UK Q3 2012 report
The UK’s Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food has published its report on the Pesticide Residues Monitoring Programme for Quarter 3 2013. The monitoring programme surveyed 900 samples of 25 different foods: aubergines, bananas, beans with pods, broccoli, cauliflower, grapes, okra, pears, peppers, potatoes, pre-packed salad, speciality vegetables, bread, cereal bars, noodles, lamb, milk, white fish, beer, herbal infusions, tinned oranges and mandarins, spices, tea, cereal based infant food and meat, fish and egg infant food.
The results showed that 28 samples contained residues above the maximum permitted levels. The Committee concluded that ‘in all cases, the presence of the residues found would be unlikely to have had any effect on the health of the people who ate the food’.
With regard to fruit and vegetables, the following 12 samples had MRL exceedances:
Beans with pods (6): Three samples from Kenya: runner beans - fine beans; green beans; two samples of Indian guar beans and one sample of Indian yard long beans.
Grapes (2): Two samples from Egypt.
Okra (4): Two samples from India; one sample from Cyprus; one of unknown origin.
In addition, there were 15 MRL exceedances in the spices category.
For more details see: http://www.pesticides.gov.uk/guidance/industries/pesticides/advisory-groups/PRiF/PRiF_Results_and_Reports/Monitoring+Programme+2012
We have alerted members historically to the increasing incidence of MRL exceedances in samples taken at wholesale markets, as reported in the quarterly reports by the Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRif) who approached us with regard to their concerns in this area. The Committee will be scrutinising this sector more closely in future and we advise members in the wholesale sector to be aware of their responsibilities, including checking with suppliers regarding pesticide use. The ‘FPC Code of Practice for the Control of Pesticides’ gives guidance to members on how they can demonstrate that they have taken all reasonable precautions and exercised due diligence to satisfy legal requirements and to ensure consumer protection. The Code of Practice will be reviewed and updated in 2013.
PRiF Open Meeting
This year the Pesticide Residues in Food Expert Committee will hold an open meeting on 15 May at the Novotel, Liverpool.
For more details on how to register an interest in this free event please see the PRiF open meetings page at: http://www.pesticides.gov.uk/guidance/industries/pesticides/advisory-groups/PRiF/PRiF+Meetings/PRiF+Open+Meetings
EU Report on Pesticide Residues 2010
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published the EU Report on Pesticide Residues 2010. In total, more than 77,000 samples of approximately 500 different types of food (raw or processed) were analysed for pesticide residues by national competent authorities. Considering the results concerning both the national and the EU-coordinated programmes, the total number of analytical determinations reported among all the countries amounted to more than 14 million. The results of the EU-coordinated programme for 2010 showed that 1.6% of total samples analysed exceeded the European legal limits (MRLs). EFSA concluded that the long-term exposure of consumers did not raise health concerns.
The report states that 97.2% of the analysed surveillance samples were below or at the legal MRLs. In 2.8% of the samples, the legal limits were exceeded for one or more pesticides. MRLs were more often exceeded for samples from third countries (7.9% of the surveillance samples) than for samples from the EU and EFTA countries (1.5% of the surveillance samples). In terms of commodity groups, most of the MRL exceedances (11.1%) were found in unprocessed surveillance samples of legume vegetables (e.g. beans with pods), spices (8.5%) and nuts (8.3%). High MRL exceedance rates were also observed in table and wine grapes, and leafy vegetables (e.g. lettuce) and fresh herbs.
For more information see: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/3130.htm?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=pub&utm_campaign=20130312