Food-producing animals may be treated with veterinary medicines to prevent or cure disease. These substances may leave residues in the food from treated animals. Food may also contain residues of pesticides and contaminants to which animals have been exposed. In all cases, the levels of residues in food should not harm the consumer.
The Commission has:
- EU countries must implement residue monitoring plans to detect the illegal use or misuse of authorised veterinary medicines in food producing animals and investigate the reasons for residue violations.
- Non-EU countries exporting to the EU must implement a residue monitoring plan which guarantees an equivalent level of food safety.
Directive 96/23 - rules on veterinary medicines, pesticides and contaminants in food of animal origin
MRLs. - The European Medicines Agency is responsible for assessing MRLs for veterinary medicinal products marketed in the EU. Detailed reports of these assessments are available here.