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Europe Wide Programme Finds More Than 97% of Foods within Pesticide Limits

March 13, 2015

More than 97% of the foods sampled in the European Food Safety Authorities latest survey were found to be within existing pesticide limits; over half the samples taken were free of any detectable traces of chemicals.

The latest figures have been released in the EFSA’s 2013 annual report on pesticide residues in food, the report includes results from 27 EU member states along with Iceland and Norway. A total of 80,967 samples were taken during the year and analysed for the presence of 685 pesticides.

Participating countries carried out two monitoring programmes for the study, a national programme which they have designed, plus a Europe wide coordinated programme which requires all countries to monitor the same products.

Whilst foods originating from within the EU showed low rates of contamination, 5.7% of samples that originated from outside the region contained pesticides above the safe level threshold.

Jean-Charles Bouquet, Director General of the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA), said “Year after year we welcome these results as a testament to the joint effort made by the farmers and industry in sharing and implementing best practices. They demonstrate both the current high-level skill of pesticide users and the high level of food safety that we continue to see in Europe.”

Based on the results contained in the report, the EFSA have concluded that the presence of pesticide residues in food was unlikely to have a long term effect on human health.

You can download a full copy of the report HERE