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Farmers, traders and importers are responsible for food safety, which includes compliance with MRLs. Member State authorities are responsible for control and enforcement of the MRLs. These checks will entail taking samples, analysing them and identifying the pesticides and respective pesticide levels present therein. To ensure that this is done in an adequate and uniform way, the Commission has three instruments:
(1) The co-ordinated EU multi-annual control programme sets out for each Member State the main pesticide-crop combinations to monitor and the minimum numbers of samples to take. Member States have to report the results, which are published in the European Union annual reports on Pesticide residues.
(2) Community Reference Laboratories co-ordinate, train staff, develop methods of analysis and organise tests to evaluate the skills of the different national control laboratories.
(3) The Food and Veterinary Office of the Commission carries out inspections in the Member States to assess and audit their control activities.
If pesticide residues are found at a level of concern for consumers, the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed(RASFF) circulates the information and measures are taken to protect the consumer.