Pesticide levels in food sold in Europe declined in 2004, the European commission reported on 25 October. Maximum residue levels (MRLs) were exceeded in 4.7% of samples, compared with 5.1% in 2003 (EED 16/11/05). The fall breaks a virtually unbroken upward trend from 3 per cent in 1996. Some 56% of samples in 2004 contained no detectable residues, in line with 2003. However, contamination of fresh food by multiple pesticides continued to increase, jumping from 20.5% in 2003 to 23.4%. See report and health and environment alliance reaction.
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