Pesticide residues in EU food decline

European commission says residue limits breached less often in 2004, breaking an upward trend

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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