Pesticide residues in fresh and processed food sold in Europe were stable in 2003 after rising by 1.2 percentage points the previous year (EED 04/08/04). Of 47,500 samples, 5.1% exceeded maximum residue levels (MRLs), the European commission reports. Some 56% contained no detectable residues, down from 58% in 2002. Eighteen countries took part in the monitoring exercise. Most MRLs are set at the national level. A new regulation that entered force in April will progressively harmonise national MRLs at the EU level (EED 22/03/05). See 2003 report.
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