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Monitoring data on pesticide residues in food: results on organic versus conventionally produced food

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According to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 on maximum residue levels of pesticides in or on food and feed, European Union Member States, Iceland and Norway monitor pesticide residue levels in food samples and submit the monitoring results to EFSA. This report provides the results of an ad-hoc data extraction and comparison of the monitoring results on organic and conventionally produced food samples. The data extraction focussed on samples taken in the framework of the EU-coordinated control programmes in the reference period 2013, 2014 and 2015 (for a total of 28,912 conventional and 1,940 organic food samples). Overall, 44% of the conventional produced food samples contained one or more quantifiable residues, while in organic food the frequency of samples with measurable pesticide residues was lower (6.5% of the organic samples). The MRL exceedance rate for conventional and organic food amounted to 1.2% and 0.2% of the samples tested, respectively. The calculated average number of pesticides analysed per food sample in organic and conventional food products was considered to be comparable.