Legislation on MRLs

A maximum residue level (MRL) is the highest level of pesticide residue that is legally tolerated in or on food or feed.  The European Commission fixes MRLs for all food and animal feed. According to Regulation (EC) 396/2005, applicants seeking approval of a pesticide must submit scientific information about the minimum amounts of pesticide necessary to protect a crop and the residue level remaining on the crop after such treatment. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) then verifies that this residue is safe for all European consumer groups, including vulnerable groups such as babies, children and vegetarians. When there is a risk established for any consumer group, the MRL application will be rejected and the pesticide may not be used on that crop. The regulation sets forth that food safety thus has priority over plant protection. Further information on MRL here.

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