The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published the European Union report, which summarizes the results of the control activities related to pesticide residues in food carried out in 2013 in the member states of the EU, as well as Norway and Iceland. Samples were collected within two programs: one national, designed for each country, and another coordinated by the European Union.
A total of 80,967 food samples were analysed for a total of 685 different pesticides. Overall, 97.4% of the samples were below the maximum residue limit (MRL); 54.6% of the samples contained non-quantifiable residues, while 42.8% of the samples analysed contained measurable residues that didn't exceed the allowed residue levels. Only 2.6% of the samples analysed exceeded the MRL for one or more pesticides (2,116 samples); 1.5% of these clearly exceeded legal limits, taking the measurement uncertainty into account.
Under the 2013 EU coordinated program 11,582 samples of 12 different foods (apples, cabbages, leeks, lettuces, peaches —including nectarines—, rye or oats, strawberries, tomatoes, cow's milk, pork and wine were analysed) for a total of 209 pesticides (191 in plant foods and 52 in foods of animal origin). The results showed that 99.1% of the samples were below the MRL; 46.3% (5,353 samples) contained measurable residues within the legally permitted level, while 52.8% did not contain measurable residues. 0.9% of the samples exceeded the MRL (113 samples); 0.5% were not in accordance with the legal limit, taking the measurement uncertainty into account.
Compared to the 2010 results, the percentage of samples exceeding the legal limits has fallen for all foods tested, except for wine, which was not sampled in 2010.
Thursday, March 12, 2015 / European Food Safety Authority / European Union.