The 2015 European Union report on pesticide residues in food.
ABSTRACT: This report provides a detailed insight in the official control activities performed by EU Member States, Iceland and Norway. Overall, 97.2% of the 84,341 samples analysed in 2015 were free of quantifiable residues or contained residues within the legally permitted levels. Based on the analytical results provided by the reporting countries, a detailed data analysis was performed regarding pesticide occurrence in the most important food products consumed and the dietary risk related to the exposure of European consumers to pesticide residues. Moreover, the data were analysed with view to identify pesticides and food products that exceeded the legal limits. It also contains the findings on pesticide residues in imported food, organic products, baby food as well as results for animal products. Based on the analysis of the 2015 pesticide monitoring results, EFSA derived a number of recommendations to increase the efficiency of the European control systems to ensure a high level of consumer protection.
Project description:This report provides an insight into the official control activities carried out by EU Member States, Iceland and Norway in 2016. Based on the analytical results provided by the reporting countries, a detailed data analysis was performed regarding pesticide occurrence in the most important food products consumed and the dietary risk related to the exposure of European consumers to pesticide residues. Overall, 96.2% of the 84,657 samples analysed fell within the legal limits (81,482 samples). In total, 50.7% of the tested samples were free of quantifiable residues (residue levels below the limit of quantification (LOQ)), while 45.5% of the samples analysed contained quantified residues not exceeding the maximum residue levels (MRLs). The findings on pesticide residues are described for the following categories: products of plant origin, products of animal origin, imported food, organic products and baby food. The acute and chronic dietary risk assessment indicated that the probability of European citizens being exposed to pesticide residue levels that could lead to negative health outcomes was low. Based on the analysis of the 2016 pesticide monitoring results, EFSA derived a number of recommendations to increase the efficiency of the European control systems to ensure a high level of consumer protection.
Project description:The latest in this series of annual reports describes in detail the official control activities carried out for pesticide residues by EU Member States, Iceland and Norway in 2017. Under Article 31 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005, Member States are requested to share the results of their official control activities and other relevant information with the European Commission, EFSA and other Member States. Based on the results provided by the reporting countries, a detailed analysis was performed on the pesticide occurrence data in the relevant food products consumed and the dietary risk related to the exposure of European consumers to pesticide residues was estimated. Overall, 95.9% of the 88,247 samples analysed fell within the legal limits (84,627, samples). In 54.1% of the tested samples, no quantifiable residues were reported (residue levels below the limit of quantification (LOQ)), while 41.8% of the samples analysed contained quantified residues at or below the maximum residue levels (MRLs). The dietary risk assessment indicated that, for the samples analysed, the probability of European citizens being exposed to pesticide residue levels that could lead to negative health outcomes is low. Based on the analysis of the 2017 results, EFSA derived several recommendations to increase the efficiency of the European control systems to ensure a continuing high level of consumer protection.
Project description:Under EU legislation (Article 32, Regulation (EC) No 396/2005), EFSA provides an annual report which analyses pesticide residue levels in foods on the European market. The analysis is based on data from the official national control activities carried out by EU Member States, Iceland and Norway and includes a subset of data from the EU-coordinated control programme which uses a randomised sampling strategy. For 2018, 95.5% of the overall 91,015 samples analysed fell below the maximum residue level (MRL), 4.5% exceeded this level, of which 2.7% were non-compliant, i.e. samples exceeding the MRL after taking into account the measurement uncertainty. For the subset of 11,679 samples analysed as part of the EU-coordinated control programme, 1.4% exceeded the MRL and 0.9% were non-compliant. Table grapes and sweet peppers/bell peppers were among the food products that most frequently exceeded the MRLs. To assess acute and chronic risk to consumer health, dietary exposure to pesticide residues was estimated and compared with health-based guidance values. The findings suggest that the assessed levels for the food commodities analysed are unlikely to pose concern for consumer health. However, a number of recommendations are proposed to increase the efficiency of European control systems (e.g. optimising traceability), thereby continuing to ensure a high level of consumer protection.
Project description:The aim of the study was to examine similarities in notifications on main hazards within food reported in the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) in 1979-2017. The main problems were mycotoxins in nuts, pathogenic microorganisms in poultry meat and fish, pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables, and heavy metals in fish. The increase in the number of notifications has been observed since 2002/2003. Products were notified mainly by Italy, Germany, and United Kingdom and originated from Asian and European Union countries. The notification basis was border control and official control, and the notification type was border rejections, information, and alerts. Notified products were not distributed and not placed on the market, distribution status could be also not specified, or distribution was possible, also to other countries. The risk decision on hazard was usually not made. Products were redispatched, withdrawn from the market, and destroyed, or import was not authorized. Remarks, which can be used to improve the RASFF database, were also presented. It was further pointed out that European law should significantly reduce the use of pesticides, drugs, and food additives, and European agriculture should be reoriented from an intensive farming to a more sustainable and ecological one.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The wide use of pesticides raises concerns on the health risks associated with pesticide exposure. For developing countries, like Thailand, pesticide monitoring program (in vegetables and fruits) and also the maximum residue limits (MRL) regulation have not been entirely implemented. The MRL is a product limit, not a safety limit. The MRL is the maximum concentration of a pesticide residue (expressed as mg/kg) recommended by the Codex Alimentarius Commission to be legally permitted in or on food commodities and animal feeds (Codex Alimentarius Commission, 2015; European Commission, 2015). MRLs are based on supervised residue trial data where the pesticide has been applied in accordance with GAP (Good Agricultural Practice). This study aims at providing comparison data on pesticide residues found in three commonly consumed vegetables (Chinese kale, pakchoi and morning glory) purchased from some local markets and supermarkets in Thailand.<h4>Methods</h4>These vegetables were randomly bought from local markets and supermarkets. Then they were analyzed for the content of 28 pesticides by using GC-MS/MS.<h4>Results</h4>Types of pesticides detected in the samples either from local markets or supermarkets were similar. The incidence of detected pesticides was 100% (local markets) and 99% (supermarkets) for the Chinese kale; 98% (local markets) and 100% (supermarkets) for the pakchoi; and 99% (local markets) and 97% (supermarkets) for the morning glory samples. The pesticides were detected exceeding their MRL at a rate of 48% (local markets) and 35% (supermarkets) for the Chinese kale; 71% (local markets) and 55% (supermarkets) for the pakchoi, and 42% (local markets) and 49% (supermarkets) for the morning glory.<h4>Discussion</h4>These rates are much higher than those seen in developed countries. It should be noted that these findings were assessed on basis of using criteria (such as MRL) obtained from developed countries. Our findings were also confined to these vegetables sold in a few central provinces of Thailand and did not reflect for the whole country as sample sizes were small. Risk assessment due to consuming these pesticide contaminated vegetables, still remains to be evaluated. However, remarkably high incidence rates of detected pesticides give warning to the Thai authorities to implement proper regulations on pesticide monitoring program. Similar incidence of pesticide contamination found in the vegetables bought from local markets and supermarkets raises question regarding the quality of organic vegetables domestically sold in Thailand. This conclusion excludes Thai export quality vegetables and fruits routinely monitored for pesticide contamination before exporting.
Project description:Due to concerns over negative impacts on insect pollinators, the European Union has implemented a moratorium on the use of three neonicotinoid pesticide seed dressings for mass-flowering crops. We assessed the effectiveness of this policy in reducing the exposure risk to honeybees by collecting 130 samples of honey from bee keepers across the UK before (2014: N = 21) and after the moratorium was in effect (2015: N = 109). Neonicotinoids were present in about half of the honey samples taken before the moratorium, and they were present in over a fifth of honey samples following the moratorium. Clothianidin was the most frequently detected neonicotinoid. Neonicotinoid concentrations declined from May to September in the year following the ban. However, the majority of post-moratorium neonicotinoid residues were from honey harvested early in the year, coinciding with oilseed rape flowering. Neonicotinoid concentrations were correlated with the area of oilseed rape surrounding the hive location. These results suggest mass flowering crops may contain neonicotinoid residues where they have been grown on soils contaminated by previously seed treated crops. This may include winter seed treatments applied to cereals that are currently exempt from EU restrictions. Although concentrations of neonicotinoids were low (<2.0 ng g-1), and posed no risk to human health, they may represent a continued risk to honeybees through long-term chronic exposure.
Project description:Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues (PPR Panel) prepared a scientific opinion to provide a comprehensive evaluation of pesticide residues in foods for infants and young children. In its approach to develop this scientific opinion, the EFSA PPR Panel took into account, among the others, (i) the relevant opinions of the Scientific Committee for Food setting a default maximum residue level (MRL) of 0.01 mg/kg for pesticide residues in foods for infants and young children; (ii) the recommendations provided by EFSA Scientific Committee in a guidance on risk assessment of substances present in food intended for infants below 16 weeks of age; (iii) the knowledge on organ/system development in infants and young children. For infants below 16 weeks of age, the EFSA PPR Panel concluded that pesticide residues at the default MRL of 0.01 mg/kg for food for infants and young children are not likely to result in an unacceptable exposure for active substances for which a health-based guidance value (HBGV) of 0.0026 mg/kg body weight (bw) per day or higher applies. Lower MRLs are recommended for active substances with HBGVs below this value. For infants above 16 weeks of age and young children, the established approach for setting HBGVs is considered appropriate. For infants below 16 weeks of age the approach may not be appropriate and the application of the EFSA guidance on risk assessment of substances present in food intended for infants below 16 weeks of age is recommended. The contribution of conventional food to the total exposure to pesticide residues is much higher than that from foods intended for infants and young children. Because of the increased intake of conventional food by young children, these have the highest exposure to pesticide residues, whereas infants 3-6 months of age generally have lower exposure. The impact of cumulative exposure to pesticide residues on infants and young children is not different from the general population and the EFSA cumulative risk assessment methodology is also applicable to these age groups. Residue definitions established under Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 are in general considered appropriate also for foods for infants and young children. However, based on a tier 1 analysis of the hydrolysis potential of pesticides simulating processing, the particular appropriateness of existing residue definitions for monitoring to cover processed food, both intended for infants and young children as well as conventional food, is questionable.
Project description:There is no information available on pesticide residue levels in major food commodities harvested in Cameroon, especially from the western highlands region, the food basket of the country. Hence, this study evaluated the residues of 99 pesticides in 72 samples of 12 agricultural products collected in the region, using QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe) method extraction, and analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and gas chromatography with electron capture detection (GC-ECD). This method was suitable for detecting the targeted compounds: For 81 pesticides by LC-MS/MS, the limit of quantification (LOQ) was between 0.0004 and 0.0537 mg/kg; and for 18 halogenated pesticides by GC-ECD, it ranged from 0.0012 to 0.2180 mg/kg. The residues of 62 pesticides, including 12 banned compounds, were found in the samples. Insecticides (39.7%) were the most prevalent group, with all the samples containing at least one pesticide. Twenty-one pesticides (34.4%) exceeded their European Union maximum residue limits (MRLs) and 22 pesticides (34.4%) were found in all 6 sampling locations. Malathion and p,p'-DDT were the most distributed pesticides, found in almost all the samples and sampling sites. Food items with the highest rates of positive results were chili pepper (23.2%), white pepper (20.2%), kidney beans (17.3%), and soybeans (17.2%). Samples with residues above their MRLs represented 38% of all the positive analyses; chili pepper (6.4%) and kidney beans (5.5%) were found to have the most residues above their MRLs. The most critical food commodities were kidney beans, soybeans, chili pepper, and maize. This data presents scientific evidence that investigation into continuous monitoring and good regulation of pesticide usage in Cameroon is needed, and paves the way for health risks analysis.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The recent occurrence and spread of African swine fever (ASF) in Eastern Europe is perceived as a serious risk for the pig industry in the European Union (EU). In order to estimate the potential risk of ASF virus (ASFV) entering the EU, several pathways of introduction were previously assessed separately. The present work aimed to integrate five of these assessments (legal imports of pigs, legal imports of products, illegal imports of products, fomites associated with transport and wild boar movements) into a modular tool that facilitates the visualization and comprehension of the relative risk of ASFV introduction into the EU by each analyzed pathway. RESULTS: The framework's results indicate that 48% of EU countries are at relatively high risk (risk score 4 or 5 out of 5) for ASFV entry for at least one analyzed pathway. Four of these countries obtained the maximum risk score for one pathway: Bulgaria for legally imported products during the high risk period (HRP); Finland for wild boar; Slovenia and Sweden for legally imported pigs during the HRP. Distribution of risk considerably differed from one pathway to another; for some pathways, the risk was concentrated in a few countries (e.g., transport fomites), whereas other pathways incurred a high risk for 4 or 5 countries (legal pigs, illegal imports and wild boar). CONCLUSIONS: The modular framework, developed to estimate the risk of ASFV entry into the EU, is available in a public domain, and is a transparent, easy-to-interpret tool that can be updated and adapted if required. The model's results determine the EU countries at higher risk for each ASFV introduction route, and provide a useful basis to develop a global coordinated program to improve ASFV prevention in the EU.
Project description:Wheat is a major component of the Northern European diet and contributes significantly to dietary pesticide exposure. Here we report results of a 2-year retail survey, which compared pesticide residues in organic and conventional, whole-grain and white, common and Spelt wheat flour brands available in the UK and Germany. Pesticide residues were detected significantly more frequently in conventional (87%) than organic (25%) flour samples. Chlormequat, a plant growth regulator, was the most frequently detected compound. Total concentrations of pesticide residues were (a) ~4 times higher in conventional than organic, (b) ~100% higher in common than Spelt wheat flour and (c) ~110% higher in conventional whole-grain than white flour samples, but (d) not significantly different in organic whole-grain and white flour. Results suggest that the use of organic wheat products allows increased whole-grain cereal consumption in line with nutritional recommendations, without an increase in dietary pesticide intake.