The 2016 European Union report on pesticide residues in food

pesticide residues, food control, monitoring, maximum residue levels, consumer risk assessment, Regulation (EC) No 396/2005
First published in the EFSA Journal
25 July 2018
21 June 2018
Scientific Report


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.

European Food Safety Authority
pesticides.mrl [at]
EFSA Journal 2018;16(7):5348
Question Number
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