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EU rules on MRLs

EU rules harmonise and simplify pesticide MRLs, and set a common EU assessment scheme for all agricultural products for food or animal feed.

Key points

  • MRLs apply to 315 fresh products and to the same products after processing, adjusted to take account of dilution or concentration during the process.
  • Rules cover pesticides currently or formerly used in agriculture in or outside the EU (around 1100).
  • A general default MRL of 0.01 mg/kg applies where a pesticide is not specifically mentioned.
  • The safety of all consumer groups is covered e.g. babies, children and vegetarians.
  • The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assesses the safety for consumers based on the toxicity of the pesticide, the maximum levels expected on food and the different diets of Europeans.
  • Clear roles of the Member States, EFSA and the Commission in the setting of MRLs.