Codex Alimentarius: Comments on Pesticide MRLs Requested

On March 24, 2024, the Codex Alimentarius Commission published a circular letter requesting comments on recommendations for maximum residue levels (MRLs) arising from the Meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) held in 2023.

After evaluating 35 pesticides for toxicity, residues or both, the Meeting established acceptable daily intakes (ADIs) and acute reference doses (ARfDs), estimated MRLs and recommended them for use by the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR), and estimated supervised trials median residue (STMR) and highest residue (HR) levels as a basis for estimating dietary intake.

Codex members and observer organizations wishing to provide comments should do so as indicated in the circular letter. The deadline for comment is May 5, 2024. Comments submitted will be considered by the 55th Session of the Codex Committee Pesticide Residues (CCPR54).

Click here for more information about the ADIs, ARfDs, recommended MRLs, STMRs and other values recorded by the 2023 JMPR meeting.

Codex Alimentarius: Draft Code of Practice for the Prevention and Reduction of Aflatoxin Contamination in Peanuts

An Electronic Working Group chaired by Brazil has concluded that the Code of Practice for the Prevention and Reduction of Aflatoxin Contamination in Peanuts, published in 2004, should be revised on the basis of new information available on risk management measures to reduce aflatoxins in peanuts. The group has submitted a discussion paper and proposed draft of the Code for the consideration of the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods (CCCF), which is meeting in Panama City from April 15-19, 2024.

More information

EU: Plant Protection Products Update

In March, the Commission published a Regulation on the maximum residue levels (MRLs) for bifenazate (0.01 mg/kg for tree nuts and for peanuts). This Regulation will apply from October 14, 2024.

In April, the Commission published an Implementing Regulation concerning a coordinated multiannual control program to ensure compliance with pesticide MRLs and to assess consumer exposure to pesticide residues in and on food of plant and animal origin. During 2025, 2026 and 2027, Member States will be required to take and analyze samples for the pesticide/product combinations set out in Annex I of the Regulation.

USA: Statements on EU MRLs and Pesticide Policies

During a meeting of the World Trade Organization’s Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures in late March, the United States made a statement expressing concern regarding the European Union’s pesticide approval and renewal decisions and the trade barriers resulting from the withdrawal or reduction of maximum residue levels (MRLs) to the limit of quantification (LOQ) based on uncertainty and insufficient scientific evidence. The US argued that such reductions in MRLs will have negative effects on agricultural trade and create trade disruptions. The US requested that MRLs for all products, both domestic and imported, be enforced based on the MRLs in place at the time of application of the pesticide.

During the same meeting, the US also made a statement reiterating its concern with the EU’s reduction of the MRLs for clothianidin and thiamethoxam and arguing that the reduction of these MRLs to the LOQ poses a significant barrier to trade.

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