Maximum residue levels of pesticides

 

Summary of the issue

It’s a pleasure to eat good food, but we need to know that our food is safe. Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) provide a measurable trading standard that help ensure food produced using pesticides is suitable for our consumption.

Why it’s important

Food should be free from harmful pesticide residues, so pesticides are only authorised for use once independent risk assessment confirms that correct use of the product will not lead to health concerns. In fact, a MRL builds-in a safety margin 100x that of the actual safety level for a pesticide residue. Food products that exceed a MRL are not allowed on the market. Exceeding a MRL does not necessarily imply a risk to health – however, it usually indicates that a pesticide has been used incorrectly.

Discover more

ECPA's Residues Management project delivers training to help improve the management of pesticide residues; you can learn more about the project here. Best management pratices including Integrated Pest Management (IPM) also contribute to the management of pesticide residues.

Supporting documents

  • pdf icon

    Pesticide use and food safety (Report)

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  • pdf icon

    ECPA position on alignment of PPP authorisation under 1107/2009 with MRLs under Regulation 396/2005 - ECPA position

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  • pdf icon

    ECPA position on the Consumer Risk Assessment of Dietary Metabolites

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  • pdf icon

    ECPA position on the future revision of Regulations 1107/2009 and 396/2005

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Contact

Contact
Andreas Thierfelder
Director of Stewardship and Sustainability