European food products containing illegal amounts of pesticide residue dropped to 1.4% in 2009 from 4.4% in 2006, European Food Safety Authority says; EFSA credits 2008 changes in EU law for decline

LOS ANGELES , November 10, 2011 () – The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reported that the number of food products containing illegal amounts of pesticide residue dropped to 1.4% in 2009 from 4.4% in 2006, FoodProductionDaily.com reported on Nov. 10.

The study included 67,000 samples of almost 300 different types of food from the 27 EU member states as well as trading partners Norway and Iceland. Fruits and vegetables were most likely to contain pesticide traces that surpassed the amount of legal maximum residue (MRLs).

While the report found that most of the 138 pesticides tested do not pose a health risk for consumers, a dozen of them could potentially pose health concerns, including dimethoate, a commonly found pesticide.

The EFSA credited 2008 changes in EU legislation for the decline. According to their report, changes in pesticide authorization and use, the successful implementation of European food law, and improvements in the data reporting system may have also contributed to the decline.

The primary source of this article is FoodProductionDaily.com, Montpellier, France, on Nov. 10, 2011.

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