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  Residues of veterinary medicinesslide

Food-producing animals may be treated with medicines to prevent or cure disease.
These substances leave residues in the food products from the animals which shouldn't harm the consumer.

What does the Commission do?

  • Responsible for the rules on medicinal products;
  • Evaluates the residues of pharmacologically active substances in veterinary medicines;
  • Establishes maximum residue levels (MRLs);
  • Can ban the use of harmful substances.


  • EU countries must implement residue monitoring plans for the illegal use of substances, misuse of authorised veterinary medicines, and minimise residue recurrence.
  • Non-EU countries exporting to the EU must guarantee an equivalent level of food safety and implement a residue monitoring plan.

Directive 96/23 - rules on veterinary medicines, pesticides and contaminants in food of animal origin

Scientific advice

Opinions & reports on MRLs - European Medicines Agency



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