Food Law News - EU - 2009

Midday Express, 12 November 2009

RESIDUES - Commission lowers maximum residue levels for 11 pesticides to address safety concerns

The European Commission decided today to reduce the permitted maximum residue levels (MRLs) of eleven pesticide active substances because of safety concerns. New information on toxicology, consumer exposure and the expected pesticide residues indicated that the existing MRLs for these substances might no longer be safe for all EU consumer groups.

At the request of the Commission, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assessed the safety of these MRLs taking into account the latest available information. For several of them, EFSA concluded that there is a risk that acceptable intake levels may be exceeded for one or more consumer groups, such as children. EFSA forwarded its opinions to the Commission and published them on the EFSA website. Based on EFSA's findings, the Commission decided to lower the MRLs for all pesticide crop combinations for which a potential risk was established. These are, for example, dimethoate on cherries (from 1 to 0,2 mg/kg) and fenamiphos on carrots (from 0,5 to 0,05 mg/kg). The adopted MRL regulation will enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

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