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How are EU MRLs set?

Applicants e.g. producers of plant protection products, farmers, importers, EU or non-EU countries must submit the following for the setting of MRLs for pesticides:

  • The use of a pesticide on the crop e.g. quantity, frequency, growth stage of the plant (Good Agricultural Practice - GAP);
  • Experimental data on the expected residues when the pesticide is applied according to GAP;
  • Toxicological reference values for the pesticide. Chronic toxicity is measured with the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI), acute toxicity - with the Acute Reference Dose (ARfD).

Based on the available information, the intake of residues through all food that may be treated with that pesticide is compared with the:

  • Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI)
  • Acute Reference Dose (ARfD) for long and short-term intake and for all European consumer groups.

What if the requested MRL is not safe?

It is set at the lowest limit of analytical determination (LOD). That is the MRL also for crops on which the pesticide has not been used or when its use has not left detectable residues.

The default lowest limit (LOD) in EU law is 0,01 mg/kg.