TheCrop Protection Association (CPA) has welcomed the findings of the EuropeanFood Safety Authority (EFSA) annual report on Pesticide Residues in food, whichhas shown residue compliance rates above 97%.
TheEurope wide monitoring programme of pesticides in food found that 97.5% of arecord 79,000 samples were within the maximum residue levels (MRLs) ofpesticides permitted in the EU.
Duringthe annual monitoring programme EFSA tested a record total of 79,035 samples of647 different types of food for the presence of 900 different types ofpesticide. The residue analysis focussed on both pesticides approved for use inthe EU and those not used in the region.
Nickvon Westenholz, CEO of the Crop Protection Association (CPA) said:
Thefindings of EFSA represent good news for consumers, farmers and for the CropProtection Industry. We are fortunate in the UK to have highly skilledoperators committed to the responsible use of pesticides and this contributesto the high levels of food safety that we enjoy in the UK.
Pesticides are the most heavily regulatedproducts in Europe, it currently takes around ten years, costing 150m, tobring an active ingredient to market. This regulatory process, involvingrigorous scrutiny by independent scientific experts, coupled with highstandards of stewardship promoted by the Voluntary Initiative (VI), ensuresplant protection products are safe for consumers, for the people who use themand for the environment.
Our industry will continue to strive toimprove standards through schemes such as the VI. Even for the very smallamount of samples found to have exceeded the legal limits, consumers shouldrest assured that these exceedences are well below levels that could beconsidered dangerous.
Pesticides play a key role in helpingfarmers produce high-quality, healthy and affordable food. Regular monitoringstudies such as this are crucial in reassuring consumers that they can trustfarmers and have confidence in the safety of their produce.