The Crop Protection Association (CPA) has welcomed the findings of theEuropean Food Safety Authority (EFSA) annual report on pesticide residues infood, which has shown residue compliance rates above 98%.
The Europe-wide monitoring programme of pesticides in food found that98.3% of over 78,000 samples were within the maximum residue levels (MRLs) ofpesticides permitted in the EU.
During the annual monitoring programme EFSA tested a total of 78,390samples of 750 different types of food for the presence of 800 different typesof pesticide.
Nick von Westenholz, CEO of the Crop Protection Association (CPA) said:
“The findings of EFSA represent good news for consumers, farmersand for the Crop Protection Industry. We are fortunate in the UK to have highlyskilled operators committed to the responsible use of pesticides and thiscontributes to the high levels of food safety that we enjoy in the UK.
“Pesticides are the most heavily regulated products in Europe, itcurrently takes around ten years, costing 150m, to bring an active ingredientto market. This regulatory process, involving rigorous scrutiny by independentscientific experts, coupled with high standards of stewardship promoted by theVoluntary Initiative (VI), ensures plant protection products are safe forconsumers, for the people who use them and for the environment.
“Our industry will continue to strive to improve standards throughschemes such as the VI. Even for the very small amount of samples found to haveexceeded the legal limits, consumers should rest assured that the presence ofresidues is unlikely to have any long-term effect on consumer health.
“Pesticides play a key role in helping farmers producehigh-quality, healthy and affordable food. Regular monitoring studies such asthis are crucial in reassuring consumers that they can trust farmers and haveconfidence in the safety of their produce.”