The Food Chain Roundtable welcomes the European Commission's report on the 2005 pesticide residues
Consumer safety risk assessments have demonstrated that the presence of some residues in food does not put consumers at risk. A residue does not imply a risk. The risk depends both on the level
of the residue present in the food and the amount of the food actually eaten by the consumer. Where an MRL is exceeded, it does not necessarily imply any risk to human health as it does not
represent a safety limit. While it is understood that consumers would prefer not to have any residues at all in their food, this is not always possible in practice.
“We take consumer concerns about food safety very seriously,” said Bernd Gruner of CELCAA speaking on behalf of the Food Chain Roundtable. “The 2005 residue monitoring results clearly indicate
that consumers can feel reassured about the high level of safety of food products placed on the EU market.” He also emphasised that “As more samples are taken of food items that are expected to
contain pesticides or to exceed MRLs, the report should not be extrapolated to
European food as a whole.”
The Food Chain Roundtable also pointed out that many MRL-exceedances can be attributed to nonstandardised maximum residue level settings in the EU. This commercial problem will be solved with
the full implementation of forthcoming regulation that will harmonise all MRLs in the EU, a move much welcomed by all Food Chain Roundtable partners.
All partners of the Food Chain Roundtable remain committed to ensuring compliance with EU regulatory requirements. They support the development of schemes that encourage the correct use of crop
protection products, which can help reduce residues in food. They also promote Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) via farmer training and education, which is one of many tools to minimise
residues. This is an ongoing challenge and one that they take very seriously.