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The 2019 European Union report on pesticide residues in food

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Under European Union legislation (Article 32, Regulation (EC) No 396/2005), the EFSA provides an annual report which examines pesticide residue levels in foods on the European market. This report 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 2019, 96.1% of the overall 96,302 samples analysed fell below the maximum residue level (MRL), 3.9% exceeded this level, of which 2.3% were non‐compliant, i.e. samples exceeding the MRL after taking the measurement uncertainty into account. For the subset of 12,579 samples analysed as part of the EU‐coordinated control programme, 2.0% exceeded the MRL and 1.0% were non‐compliant. 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 residue levels for the food commodities analysed are unlikely to pose any concern for consumer health. However, a number of recommendations are proposed to increase the effectiveness of European control systems, thereby continuing to ensure a high level of consumer protection throughout the EU.

This publication is linked to the following EFSA Supporting Publications article: