The fourth annual report on testing for pesticides in food has been published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and reveals that more than 97% of samples contained residues levels within permissible limits.
The results refer to samples tested in 2010 by authorities in 27 EU member states, plus Iceland and Norway. The report also includes an assessment of dietary exposure by cumulative risk assessment, which considers the potential effects of combined exposure to groups of chemical with similar toxicological properties. The assessment found that 99.6% of the samples tested presented no risk to consumers from short-term dietary exposure.
Samples exceeding the maximum residue level (MRL) were found to be five times more common in foods imported from outside the EU than in foods produced within member states. Some 7.9% of samples taken from imported foods were found to contain residues above the MRL. The foods most likely to be contaminated were oats, lettuce, strawberries and peaches. The exceedance rate for organic foods was lower than for conventionally produced foods at 0.8%.
Read the full report here.