Glyphosate: safety of residue levels reviewed

EFSA has completed its review of the maximum levels of glyphosate that are legally permitted to be present in food. The review is based on data on glyphosate residues in food submitted to EFSA by all EU Member States.

The maximum residue levels (MRLs) are set to ensure that consumers continue to be protected against excessive quantities of glyphosate in their diet. They are based on an analysis of all existing authorised uses of the herbicide in the EU.

Uncertainties resulting from gaps in the data submitted are indicated in the assessment (see the full Reasoned Opinion for details).

The review – covering all crops treated with glyphosate – includes a risk assessment which shows that current exposure levels are not expected to pose a risk to human health. For this assessment EFSA compared the diets of adults and children in the EU with the safe intake values that EFSA recommended in 2015.

Animal health

Data from the MRL review formed part of the evidence used in a second report, also published today, which assesses the potential impact on animal health of glyphosate residues in feed.

The assessment looked at all available information on the presence of glyphosate in feed, including imported feed. It concludes that glyphosate is not expected to have an impact on the health of cattle, sheep, pigs, horses and chickens.

What are MRLs?

MRLs are the upper levels of pesticide residues that are legally permissible in or on food or animal feed, based on good agricultural practice and the lowest consumer exposure necessary to protect vulnerable consumers. They are derived after a comprehensive assessment of the properties of the active substance and the intended use of the pesticide. These legal limits also apply to imported food and feed.

Media contacts