Annual Report of the

                       Pesticide Residues Committee
We are the Pesticide Residues      This report summarises the
Committee. We oversee a            results from our monitoring of
programme to monitor food and      samples collected throughout
drink in the UK for pesticide      2004. It also describes the work
residues. The purpose of the       we are doing in 2005 and 2006.
programme is to:
                                   Details of all the samples we
    • back up the legal process    have collected and tested are
      of approving pesticides by   available on out website at
      checking that there are no
      unexpected residues;
                                   If you have any comments on this
    • check that residues do not   report or any observations you
      go over maximum residue      can send them to:
      levels (MRLs) set by law;

    • check that the residues
      people eat and drink are
      within acceptable levels.

                                                                                      1.       Chairman’s foreword
                                                                                      Dear Reader,
               1    Chairman’s foreword                                          3
                                                                                      Welcome to our fifth annual report which summarises our work during 2004. We have
                                                                                      continued to publish bulletins of our results every three months throughout the year, together
               2    About us                                                     4
                                                                                      with the results of monthly surveys on grapes. We also use our new improved website at prc-
                                                                             to provide information.
               3    Our monitoring programme                                     5
                                                                                      Improving the way we give information to the public has been an important topic that we have
               4    Our findings from the 2004 programme                         8
                                                                                      been working on this year. We have held two public meetings since our last report. The first in
                                                                                      Birmingham last October was an opportunity for the public to observe one of our regular
               5    2004 results – fruit and vegetables                          9
                                                                                      business meetings. This was well received by those who attended and we will be organising a
                                                                                      similar meeting on 19 October 2005 in York.
               6    2004 results – cereals and cereal products                  12
                                                                                      We also held a ‘Pesticide residues in food workshop’ which was designed to appeal to a
               7    2004 results – animal products                              13
                                                                                      wider audience and to cover broader topics of interest. People who attended have given us
                                                                                      good feedback on the workshop and we planning to organise another meeting in May 2006 in
               8    2004 results – miscellaneous and special surveys            15
                                                                                      the Bristol area.
               9    2004 results – information supplied by the food industry    16
                                                                                      We have also taken an interest in a local initiative run by Stockbridge Technology Centre to
                                                                                      make children familiar with food production. This involves primary school children planting and
               10   Residues above MRLs and non-approved uses in the UK         17
                                                                                      harvesting crops on allotments at the centre. Part of the project covered controlling weeds and
                                                                                      pests so that children could explore the ways that this can be achieved and some of the
               11   School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme                           23
                                                                                      implications for food production. We visited the project in the summer and will be looking to
                                                                                      see if the children’s learning experiences help us to produce information for new audiences.
               12   Dietary intakes and the risk to people                      24
                                                                                      I have also been busy this year talking with the media when invited and speaking at various
               13   Follow-up action                                            26
                                                                                      events around the country about our work and the process of assessing risk. It is very
                                                                                      important that people have confidence in the safety of our food and that we will recommend
               14   2005 programme                                              28
                                                                                      speedy action if there is ever any cause for concern. This annual report continues to show that
                                                                                      most of our food contains no pesticide residues at all and only 1.09% contains residues above
               15   2006 proposed programme                                     29
                                                                                      the statutory residue levels. We have carried out full risk assessments of these cases, which
                                                                                      included looking at the most vulnerable people such as toddlers and infants.
               16   Pesticides regulatory regime                                30
                                                                                      This has been a very interesting year and I hope you will continue to give us feedback and
               17   Food Standards Agency (FSA) update                          31
                                                                                      suggestions on the work that we do.
               18   Communications                                              33
                                                                                      Yours sincerely
               19   Members of the Pesticide Residues Committee                 34

               20   Common questions                                            36

               21   Contact addresses                                           40

                                                                                      Dr. Ian Brown BSc Agric. FRCP FFOM DDAM
                                                                                      Chairman Pesticide Residues Committee

2                                                                                                                                                                                       3
    2.        About us                                                                          3.       Our monitoring programme
    We were set up in 2000. We give:                                                            A very wide range of pesticides may be used          states. The surveys are usually of
                                                                                                in agriculture and food production, either in        fruit and vegetables. The number of
         • ministers;
                                                                                                this country or abroad. About 560 active             samples to be analysed is greater for
         • the Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency (FSA); and
                                                                                                substances are currently approved for use in         the countries with larger populations
         • the Chief Executive of the Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD)
                                                                                                pesticides in one or more EU member                  (such as the UK). Results from EU
    advice on our monitoring programme of checking pesticide residues in food and drink.        states. If we take account of old chemicals          surveys are published as a single
    Our members are appointed jointly by the Chief Executive of the FSA, Ministers from the     like DDT, which are now banned but may               report on the Commission’s website
    Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Department of Health,       still be present in the environment, we         (
    the Scottish Executive, the National Assembly for Wales and the Department of Agriculture   could check for residues of around 1000         eports/pesticides_index_en.htm).
    and Rural Development for Northern Ireland. One member of the committee is appointed        different chemicals.
    by the FSA alone.                                                                                                                           The EU surveys may be aimed at different
                                                                                                The range of food now available throughout      pesticides than UK surveys, partly because
    We meet four or five times a year. An assessor from the FSA and representatives from        the year in the UK is also very broad. To       they often focus on checking residues
    various government departments come to our meetings. The PSD, an executive agency of        make the most of resources, our programme       against recently set MRLs. We sometimes
    Defra, provides our administration. Every year we hold an open meeting where we invite      takes the form of rolling surveys. In other     extend the range of pesticides we are
    members of the public to join us to discuss issues on pesticide residues in food.           words, a lot of the programme changes from      looking for in a particular survey to cover
                                                                                                year to year. For most surveys, we collect      uses specific to the UK.
    See section 18 for more details.                                                            samples over a three-month period.
    Our members are as follows                                                                  However, when the source of a particular        Our programme cost £2.2 million in 2004.
                                                                                                food changes a great deal with the seasons      60% of these costs came from a levy on the
                                                                                                (and so pesticide residues may be very          sale of pesticides and the rest came from
                                                                                                different) we may collect samples for a         the Government.
                                                                                                longer period of time. This is the case for
                                                                                                most fruit and vegetables.                      Most of the samples we test are collected
                                                                                                                                                from shops. In 2004 we collected samples
                                                                                                There are four main categories of surveys.      of approximately 3800 foodstuffs from 24
                                                                                                                                                cities throughout the UK. Defra inspectors
                                                                                                     • Dietary staples (bread, milk             collected about 500 of these samples from
            Dr Ian Brown (Chair)           Anne Clayson               Dr Derek Cull                    and potatoes).                           ports, wholesalers, import points and retail
                                                                                                                                                depots to broaden the range of samples.
                                                                                                     • Main food groups (fruit and              The samples were then sent to one of the
                                                                                                       vegetables, cereals and cereal           following laboratories to be analysed.
                                                                                                       products and animal products).
                                                                                                                                                    • Central Science Laboratory (CSL),
                                                                                                     • Miscellaneous and special surveys.             Defra, Sand Hutton, York
                                                                                                       These may include processed foods            • Department of Agriculture and Rural
                                                                                                       (such as baby foods), fast foods (such         Development (DARD), Belfast
                                                                                                       as take-away fish and chips), animal         • Direct Laboratories, Wolverhampton
                Ian Finlayson          Dr. Morven McEachern           Hazel Phillips                   feed, or surveys set up at short             • LGC Ltd, Teddington
                                                                                                       notice to deal with issues which need        • Scottish Agricultural Science Agency
                                                                                                       to be investigated quickly.                    (SASA), East Craigs, Edinburgh

                                                                                                     • EU surveys conducted as part             Our programme is a programme to monitor
                                                                                                       of a European Union programme.           residues. The PSD runs a separate
                                                                                                       All EU countries monitor food for        programme to take action when residues
                                                                                                       pesticide residues. To co-ordinate       above the relevant MRL, or when pesticides
                                                                                                       activities each year the European        not approved for use on that food, are found
                                                                                                       Commission proposes a number of          (see section 13).
            Prof. Andrew Renwick           Graham Ward                Maura Wilson                     surveys to be carried out by member

    Background information on our members is given in section 19
4                                                                                                                                                                                              5
        Position of shopping centres and laboratories: 2004                                                                                        Food tested in 2004

                                                                                                                                               Quarter 1                 Quarter 2                  Quarter 3                  Quarter 4
                                                                                                                                               (January to March 2004,   (April to June 2004,       (July to September 2004,   (October to December
                                                                                                                                               results published         results published          results published          2004, results published
                                                                                                                                               September 2004)           December 2004)             March 2005)                June 2005)

                                                                                                                                               Beef                      Apples – EU survey         Beer                       Apples – EU survey
                                                                                                                                               Cheese (mature)           Asparagus                  Bread (ordinary)           Asparagus
                                                                                                                                               Farmed fish               Beef                       Bread (speciality)         Bread (ordinary)
                                                                                                                                               Infant food               Cabbage – EU survey        Chillies                   Bread (speciality)
                                                                                                                                               Lettuce – EU survey       Carrots                    Coffee                     Cabbage – EU survey
                                                                                                                                               Milk (cows)               Coffee                     Corn on the cob            Carrots
                                                                                                                                               Orange juice              Grapes                     Farmed fish                Cheese (mild)
                                                                                                                                               Salad (pre-packed)        Kiwi fruit                 Marmalade                  Grapes
                                                                                                                                               Sweetcorn (tinned)        Leeks - EU survey          Milk (cows)                Infant food
                                                             28                                                                                                          Lettuce – EU survey        Mini/baby sweetcorn        Kiwi fruit
                                                                                                                                                                         Milk (cows)                Okra                       Leeks – EU survey
                                                                                                                                                                         Parsnips                   Orange juice               Lettuce – EU survey
                                                                                                                                                                         Pears                      Plantain                   Milk (cows)
                                          11                                17                                                                                           Peas (in edible pods)      Pulses                     Nuts
                                         26                                                                                                                              Potatoes (maincrop and     Salad (pre-packed)         Oats – EU survey
                                                                                 25                                                                                      new)                       Speciality beans           Rye – EU survey
                                                                       2    21                                                                                           Soft citrus                Tuna (tinned)              Parsnips
                                                                  9              4                                                                                       Strawberries – EU survey   Turkey                     Pears
                                                                                                                                                                         Sweet peppers                                         Peas (in edible pods)
                                                                                                                                                                         Tomatoes – EU survey                                  Potatoes (maincrop and
                                                                      10                  15
                                                                      29                                                                                                                                                       Soft citrus
                                                                       24                                                                                                                                                      Strawberries – EU survey
                                                                                          19 27                                                                                                                                Sweet peppers
                                                                                          13   7                                                                                                                               Tomatoes – EU survey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Tuna (tinned)
                                       Shopping Centres                                                      Laboratories
    1    Portsmouth     7    Croydon               13   Lewisham            19        Ealing                25   Central Science
                                                                                                                 Laboratory - (York)

    2    Oldham/Rochdale 8   Newquay               14   Antrim              20        Norwich               26   Department of Agriculture
                                                                                                                 and Rural Development -
    3    Dundee         9    Liverpool             15   Peterborough 21               Bradford                   (Northern Ireland)

                                                                                                            27   LGC Ltd -
    4    Sheffield      10   Wolverhampton         16   Wrexham             22        Llandudno                  (Teddington, London)

                                                                                                            28   Scottish Agricultural
    5    Maidstone      11   Belfast               17   Darlington          23        Aberdeen                   Science Agency - (Scotland)

    6    Newcastle      12   York                  18   Bristol             24        Gloucester            29   Direct Laboratories

6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7
                                                                                                          Overall Findings - 3854 samples                        Food from Non-UK sources - 1992 samples
    4. Our findings from the 2004 programme                                                                              1%                                                              1.9%

                                                                                                  30%                                                           30.9%
    We analysed 3854 samples. We found no residues in 69% of samples, residues were
    below the MRL in 30% of samples, and residues were above the MRL in 1% of samples.
    The results are summarised in sections 5, 6, 7 and 8. You can get full details on our
    website (                                                                                                   69%                                                         67.2%

    We tested each sample for many different pesticides. In all, we have reported the results
    for over 223,000 pesticide/sample combinations.

    The monitoring programme is aimed mainly at foods where we expect to find residues.
                                                                                                            No residues found (2657 samples)                             No residues found (1339 samples)
    Because of this, we cannot assume that our findings represent the UK food supply as a
                                                                                                            Residues below MRL found (1155 samples)                      Residues below MRL found (616 samples)
    whole and samples with residues may be over-represented.
                                                                                                            Residues above MRL found (42 samples)                        Residues above MRL found (37 samples)

    We publish detailed results from the programme every three months. The following
    reports are available on our website (                                                UK food sources - 1862 samples                       Results from the food industry - 1700 samples
                                                                                                                          0.3%                                                             4.2%

    Report               Samples collected               Website                                 28.9%                                                         30.9%

    Quarter 1            January to March 2004 
                                                                                                                                                      70.8%                                                       64.9%

    Quarter 2            April to June 2004    

    Quarter 3            July to September 2004
    2004                                                                                                    No residues found (1318 samples)                             No residues found (1104 samples)
                                                                                                            Residues below MRL found (539 samples)                       Residues below MRL found (525 samples)
    Quarter 4            October to December 2004              Residues above MRL found (5 samples)                         Residues above MRL found (71 samples)

                     You can also get copies of these reports from the PSD
                                                                                                  5. 2004 results – fruit and vegetables
                                E-mail:                          We analysed 2348 samples for up to 123 pesticides, resulting in 188,379
                                         Phone: 01904 455775                                      pesticide/sample combinations.

                Results of 1700 samples are also supplied by the food industry.                   Out of those 2348 samples we found residues in 898. 39 samples contained residues
        You can find information on the results supplied by the food industry in section 9.       above the MRL. We found residues of pesticides not approved for that use in the UK in
                                                                                                  two samples of apples, one sample of maincrop potatoes and one sample of tomatoes.


                                                                                                                                                                 No residues found (1450 samples)
                                                                                                                                                       61.8%     Residues below MRL found (859 samples)
                                                                                                                                                                 Residues above MRL found (39 samples)

8                                                                                                                                                                                                                     9
     Main Findings                                                                              Findings of individual surveys

     • We didn’t find any residues in corn on the cob, mini or baby sweetcorn and tinned        Food                               Reporting   Number       Number of        Number of        Number of
       sweetcorn.                                                                                                                  quarter     of samples   these samples    these samples    these samples
                                                                                                                                               analysed     containing       containing       containing
     • Out of 108 samples of lettuce, two contained residues at levels that concerned us –                                                                  residues at or   residues above   several
                                                                                                                                                            below the MRL    the MRL          residues
       see section 12

     • Out of 108 samples of fresh carrot, only one contained low levels of residues. Levels    Apples (1st survey) - EU           Quarter 2   61           48               1                30
       of the main organophosphate (OP) pesticides have been reduced in carrots since high      survey
       levels were found in 1989.                                                               Apples (2nd survey) - EU           Quarter 4   83           67               none             39
     • One sample of maincrop potatoes contained low levels of tecnazene. Tecnazene             Asparagus (1st survey)             Quarter 2   47           1                none             none
       approvals were withdrawn in January 2002 but levels up to 0.1 mg/kg can arise            Asparagus (2nd survey)             Quarter 4   48           none             none             none
       through contamination from previous use. The source of contamination is likely to be
                                                                                                Cabbage (1st survey) - EU          Quarter 2   34           10               none             3
       from traces of the pesticide remaining in potato stores from previous approved use.

     • Out of 68 UK apple samples, two contained low residues of iprodione. Iprodione is        Cabbage (2nd survey) - EU          Quarter 4   38           4                none             none
       not approved for use on apples in the UK. The suppliers think that the residues came
       from spray or storage equipment also used for pears (which iprodione is approved for).   Carrots (1st survey)               Quarter 2   59           1                none             none
       They assured us they will use completely separate equipment for treating and storing     Carrots (2nd survey)               Quarter 4   49           none             none             none
       the two crops in future. We will monitor apples again in 2005.                           Chillies                           Quarter 3   48           7                7                6
                                                                                                Corn on the cob                    Quarter 3   26           none             none             none
     • Out of 60 UK tomato samples, one contained residues of procymidone. Procymidone
                                                                                                Grapes (1st survey)                Quarter 2   47           25               3                14
       is not approved for use on tomatoes in the UK. The supplier explained that imported
       tomatoes were being used to check a grading machine at the time our inspector            Grapes (2nd survey)                Quarter 4   49           27               4                19
       visited, and that their own monitoring of their tomatoes showed no procymidone           Kiwi fruit (1st survey)            Quarter 2   48           22               none             1
       residues.                                                                                Kiwi fruit (2nd survey)            Quarter 4   48           4                none             1
                                                                                                Leeks (1st survey) - EU            Quarter 2   35           2                none             1
     • A relatively high proportion of samples of chillies and speciality beans contained       survey
       residues above the MRL. However, the MRLs set in these crops were set at the
                                                                                                Leeks (2nd survey) - EU            Quarter 4   37           3                none             none
       lowest level which can be routinely tested for because producers have not supplied       survey
       information to set a higher level. This is a particular issue with the developing
                                                                                                Lettuce (1st survey) - EU          Quarter 1   24           12               2                12
       countries that these types of produce are from. Where we found residues above
       MRLs, we told suppliers and relevant authorities. The PSD has also met suppliers of
       speciality vegetables to discuss reducing these problems in the future.                  Lettuce (2nd survey) - EU          Quarter 2   34           13               none             6
                                                                                                Lettuce (3rd survey) - EU survey   Quarter 4   50           11               2                9
                                                                                                Mini or baby sweetcorn             Quarter 3   23           none             none             none
                                                                                                Nuts                               Quarter 4   48           29               none             none
                                                                                                Okra                               Quarter 3   47           8                none             3
                                                                                                Parsnips (1st survey)              Quarter 2   36           4                none             1
                                                                                                Parsnips (2nd survey)              Quarter 4   38           2                none             1
                                                                                                Pears (1st survey)                 Quarter 2   64           51               none             38
                                                                                                Pears (2nd survey)                 Quarter 4   80           58               none             31
                                                                                                Peas in edible pods                Quarter 2   36           13               1                9
                                                                                                (1st survey)
                                                                                                Peas in edible pods                Quarter 4   36           13               none             9
                                                                                                (2nd survey)
                                                                                                Plantain                           Quarter 3   44           16               none             6
                                                                                                Potatoes maincrop and new          Quarter 2   70           40               none             17
                                                                                                (1st survey)
10                                                                                                                                                                                                            11
     Findings of individual surveys                                                                                               Main findings

     Food                              Reporting         Number       Number of          Number of             Number of          •   Out of 48 samples of beer, 15 contained low levels of chlormequat.
                                       quarter           of samples   these samples      these samples         these samples
                                                         analysed     containing         containing            containing         •   Out of 144 samples of ordinary bread, 96 contained one or more residues of
                                                                      residues at or     residues above        several
                                                                                                                                      chlormequat, glyphosate, malathion or pirimiphos-methyl. 35 of 72 samples of
                                                                      below the MRL      the MRL               residues
                                                                                                                                      speciality bread contained one or more residues of chlormequat, glyphosate or
                                                                                                                                      pirimiphos-methyl. These pesticides are commonly used on cereal crops, and
     Potatoes maincrop and new         Quarter 4         73           18                 none                  1
     (2nd survey)                                                                                                                     residues have been found in other cereal products, so these findings are not
     Pulses                            Quarter 3         84           10                 1                     2
     Salad pre-packed (1st survey)     Quarter 1         23           15                 none                  8                  •   Out of 68 samples of oats and rye, 58 contained one or more residues of
     Salad pre-packed (2nd survey)     Quarter 3         73           23                 none                  9                      chlormequat, chlorpyrifos-methyl, glyphosate, mepiquat or pirimiphos-methyl. Two UK
     Soft citrus (1st survey)          Quarter 2         35           34                 1                     33                     oats samples contained residues of chlormequat above the MRL.
     Soft citrus (2nd survey)          Quarter 4         61           59                 2                     57
                                                                                                                                  • None of the residues were a concern for people’s health.
     Speciality beans                  Quarter 3         24           8                  11                    15
                                                                                                                               Findings of individual surveys
     Strawberries (1st survey) - EU    Quarter 2         51           32                 2                     21
                                                                                                                               Food                            Reporting     Number       Number of        Number of            Number of
     Strawberries (2nd survey) - EU    Quarter 4         48           38                 none                  22                                              quarter       of samples   these samples    these samples        these samples
     survey                                                                                                                                                                  analysed     containing       containing           containing
     Sweetcorn tinned                  Quarter 1         48           none               none                  none                                                                       residues at or   residues above       several
                                                                                                                                                                                          below the MRL    the MRL              residues
     Sweet peppers (1st survey)        Quarter 2         70           8                  1                     7
     Sweet peppers (2nd survey)        Quarter 4         74           16                 none                  8
                                                                                                                               Beer                            Quarter 3     48           15                no MRL set          0
     Tomatoes (1st survey)             Quarter 2         160          69                 1                     38
                                                                                                                               Bread ordinary (1st survey)     Quarter 3     72           43                no MRL set          12
      - EU survey
                                                                                                                               Bread ordinary 2nd survey)      Quarter 4     72           53                no MRL set          14
     Tomatoes (2nd survey)             Quarter 4         140          38                 none                  8
      - EU survey                                                                                                              Bread speciality (1st survey)   Quarter 3     35           14                no MRL set          6
                                                                                                                               Bread speciality (2nd survey)   Quarter 4     37           21                no MRL set          4
                                                                                                                               Oats and rye                    Quarter 3     68           58                2                   18

        6. 2004 results – cereals and cereal products
                                                                                                                                  7. 2004 results – animal products
        We analysed 332 samples for up to 31 pesticides, resulting in 8860 pesticide/crop
        combinations.                                                                                                             We analysed 827 samples for up to 26 pesticides, resulting in 11118 pesticide/sample
        Out of these 332 samples, we found residues in 204. Two samples of oats contained
        residues above the MRL.                                                                                                   Out of these 827 samples, we found residues in 92. No samples contained residues
                                                                                                                                  above MRLs.

                                0.6%                                                                                                              11%

       61.4%                                                                                                                                                               89%

                                                                      No residues found (126 samples)                                                                                       No residues found (735 samples)
                                                                      Residues below MRL found (204 samples)                                                                                Residues below MRL found (92 samples)
                                                                      Residues above MRL found (2 samples)

12                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              13
        Main Findings                                                                                              8. 2004 results – Miscellaneous and Special Surveys
        •    We didn’t find any residues in beef, cheese, milk, tinned tuna or turkey.
                                                                                                                   The miscellaneous surveys this year were on coffee, infant food (containing meat, egg,
        •    Out of 108 samples of farmed fish (salmon and trout), 92 samples contained                            fish or cheese), marmalade and orange juice. One sample of infant food contained
             residues, all at low levels. The pesticides found were chlordane, DDT, dieldrin and                   residues above the MRL.
             hexachlorobenzene. These pesticides take a long time to break down after they are
             used, and also can build up in fatty tissues.                                                         Main findings

        •    Two samples of salmon labelled as ‘organic’ contained very low levels of DDT. These                   •        We didn’t find any residues in coffee, marmalade and orange juice.
             may have come from direct exposure to DDT in the environment or from DDT levels in
             their feed. The term ‘organic’ when relating to fish refers to the way they are farmed                •        Out of 119 samples of infant food, one contained residues above the MRL. A risk
             but not their diet.                                                                                            assessment showed there were no concerns for infant health.

        •    None of the residues were a concern for people’s health.                                              Findings of individual surveys

                                                                                                                Food                           Reporting    Number       Number of        Number of        Number of
     Findings of individual surveys                                                                                                            quarter      of samples   these samples    these samples    these samples
                                                                                                                                                            analysed     containing       containing       containing
                                                                                                                                                                         residues at or   residues above   several
     Food                          Reporting     Number       Number of        Number of        Number of
                                                                                                                                                                         below the MRL    the MRL          residues
                                   quarter       of samples   these samples    these samples    these samples
                                                 analysed     containing       containing       containing
                                                              residues at or   residues above   several         Coffee (1st survey)            Quarter 2     60          none             none             none
                                                              below the MRL    the MRL          residues        Coffee (2nd survey)            Quarter 3     48          none             none             none
                                                                                                                Infant food                    Quarter 1     58          1                1                none
     Beef (1st survey)             Quarter 1      53          none             none             none
                                                                                                                containing meat,
     Beef (2nd survey)             Quarter 2      67          none             none             none            egg, fish, cheese
     Cheese mature (1st survey)    Quarter 1      36          none             none             none            (1st survey)
     Cheese mild (2nd survey)      Quarter 4      36          none             none             none            Infant food                    Quarter 4     61          none             none             none
                                                                                                                containing meat,
     Farmed fish (1st survey)      Quarter 1      48          47               No MRLs          14
                                                                                                                egg, fish, cheese
                                                                               set for fish
                                                                                                                (2nd survey)
     Farmed fish (2nd survey)      Quarter 3      60          45               No MRLs          23
                                                                                                                Marmalade                      Quarter 3     48          none             no MRL set       none
                                                                               set for fish
                                                                                                                Orange juice (1st survey)      Quarter 1     22          none             no MRL set       none
     Milk cows (1st survey)        Quarter 1      84          none             none             none
                                                                                                                Orange juice (2nd survey)      Quarter 3     50          none             no MRL set       none
     Milk cows (2nd survey)        Quarter 2      75          none             none             none
     Milk cows (3rd survey)        Quarter 3      86          none             none             none
     Milk cows (4th survey)        Quarter 4      55          none             none             none
     Tuna tinned (1st survey)      Quarter 3      60          none             No MRLs          none
                                                                               set for fish
     Tuna tinned (2nd survey)      Quarter 4      60          none             No MRLs          none
                                                                               set for fish
     Turkey (1st survey)           Quarter 3      46          none             none             none
     Turkey (2nd survey)           Quarter 4      61          none             none             none

14                                                                                                                                                                                                                         15
     9. 2004 results – information supplied by the food                                          •   Residues above the MRL were found in samples of papaya (pawpaw), passion fruit
                                                                                                     and mango. We are monitoring mango, speciality fruit, including papaya and passion
        industry                                                                                     fruit, during 2005.

     This year we have again worked with the Veterinary Residues Committee (VRC) to gather       •   None of these residues was a concern for people’s health.
     information from the food and farming industries.

     These industries produce a large amount of information and we encourage them to share       10. Residues above MRLs and non-approved uses in
     the information with us to help with our monitoring programme. It is useful for checking
     our findings and helps us to develop monitoring plans for the future. We are grateful to
                                                                                                     the UK
     those who provided the information we asked for.
                                                                                                 The section covers those samples, from among the 3854 we tested, where a residue:
     If the information shows unexpected results or residues above the MRLs, we assess the
     risk to people. We also invite those who provide the information to comment on whether      •   above the MRL was found; or
     they confirmed the results and what follow-up action they have taken. We are reassured      •   of a pesticide not approved for use on a particular crop was found in a UK crop; or
     that appropriate action is taken, which may include inspecting spray records and carrying   •   was found in an organic sample.
     out further monitoring.
     We are keen to encourage more people in the food and farming industries to provide          Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) reflect the level of pesticides expected in produce which
     information and we hope that the amount of information supplied continues to increase.      has been treated in line with good agricultural practice. If it is known that pesticides do
     We welcome developments such as major retailers publishing their own findings on their      not leave residues, or are not approved for use on particular crops, MRLs are set at the
     websites.                                                                                   lowest level which can be identified in routine laboratory analysis.

     The results given to us are available on our website                                        MRLs are set by law in the Pesticides (Maximum Residue Levels in Crops, Food and
     (                                                     Feeding Stuffs) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 (as amended), the Pesticides
                                                                                                 (Maximum Residue Levels in Crops, Food and Feeding Stuffs) (Scotland) Regulations
     Main findings                                                                               2000 and the Pesticides (Maximum Residue Levels in Crops, Food and Feeding Stuffs)
                                                                                                 Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002. These regulations list all MRLs set under UK
     •   In general, the residues found are similar to those we found.                           national or EC procedures. The regulations are amended as levels are set for increasing
                                                                                                 numbers of pesticides.
     •   Chlorpropham in unprocessed potatoes was generally reported at levels similar to
         those found in our monitoring. One sample was found to contain a diquat residue         There are a number of pesticides which do not yet have MRLs. If there is no MRLs set by
         above the MRL. None of these residues was a concern for people’s health. We             law for a particular pesticide, we advise food suppliers to keep to any appropriate levels
         survey potatoes every year.                                                             set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (a United Nations body which promotes
                                                                                                 worldwide trading standards). Codex MRLs have not been set by law but they provide a
     •   Several residues were reported in some samples of citrus fruit. The findings were       suitable basis for measuring residues.
         similar to those found in our surveys. We are monitoring oranges during 2005.
                                                                                                 Main findings
     •   The residues found in the individual ingredients of leafy salads and lettuce samples
         were similar to those found in the pre-packed mixed salads we surveyed. One sample      •   Residue levels above MRLs were found in only 1.09% of the 3854 samples we tested.
         of lettuce was found to contain an inorganic bromide residue above the MRL.                 These samples may show that pesticides have not been used correctly. However,
                                                                                                     they do not necessarily give rise to health concerns. When we found residues above
     •   Residues of cypermethrin above the MRL were found in two samples of spring onion.           an MRL, we carried out a risk assessment. A very small percentage of samples
         We are monitoring salad onions including spring onions in 2005.                             contained levels of residues that could be a risk to health. In these cases, if the food
                                                                                                     had been eaten without any preparation there could have been a small risk of mild,
     •   One sample of marrow was found to contain residues above the MRLs of both                   reversible health effects (see section 12).
         thiabendazole and imazalil. We last surveyed marrows in 2001 when we found no
         residues above the lowest levels laboratories could test for at that time.              •   During 2004 we found residues in four samples of organic produce, although these
                                                                                                     were below the MRL.

                                                                                                 •   One sample of organic apples from Chile contained residues of diphenylamine.

16                                                                                                                                                                                              17
        •       One sample of organic strawberries from Spain contained residues of fenpropimorph,               Food                       Origin               Pesticides found    Residue   MRL
                iprodione, mepanipyrim and pirimicarb.                                                                                                                               found     (mg/kg)
        •       Two samples of organic salmon from the UK contained residues of DDT at very low
                                                                                                                 Lettuce                    Spain                endosulfan          0.3       0.05 (EC)
                levels. There are no MRLs for fish. Risk assessments showed that there were no
                                                                                                                                                                 methamidophos       7.7       0.02 (EC)
                concerns for people’s health. DDT takes a long time to break down after it is used
                                                                                                                 Lettuce                    UK                   inorganic bromide   226       100 (Codex)
                and so residues of DDT are still found throughout the environment. DDT residues can
                build up in fatty tissues so it is often found in meat and fish with a relatively high fat       Lettuce                    UK                   dithiocarbamates    7.4       5 (EC)
                or oil content. residues we found may have come from direct exposure to DDT in the               Oats                       UK                   chlormequat         6         5 (EC)
                environment from DDT levels in their feed. The term ‘organic’ when relating to fish,             Oats                       UK                   chlormequat         8.7       5 (EC)
                refers to the way they are farmed but not their diet.                                            Peas in edible pods        Guatemala            dithiocarbamates    1.7       1 (EC)
                                                                                                                 Pulses                     unknown              acephate            0.07      0.02 (EC)
        •       We told the relevant authority, the Advisory Committee on Organic Standards (ACOS),
                                                                                                                                                                 methamidophos       0.02      0.01 (EC)
                about these results.
                                                                                                                 Soft citrus (clementine)   South Africa         diphenylamine       0.1       0.05 (EC)
        Samples containing residues above the MRL                                                                Soft citrus (clementine)   Morocco              dimethoate          0.03      0.02 (EC)
                                                                                                                 Soft citrus (satsuma)      Spain                dimethoate          0.1       0.02 (EC)
     Food                          Origin                Pesticides found      Residue         MRL                                                               omethoate           0.06      0.02 (EC) - the
                                                                               found           (mg/kg)                                                                                         MRL for
                                                                               (mg/kg)                                                                                                         dimethoate
                                                                                                                 Speciality beans           Kenya                profenofos          0.2       0.05 (EC)
     Apples                        Argentina             captan                3.6             3 (UK)                                                            dithiocarbamates    2         1 (EC)
     Chillies                      unknown               dimethoate            0.03            0.02 (EC)         Speciality beans           Kenya                chlorpyrifos        0.2       0.05 (EC)
                                                         omethoate             0.03            0.02 (EC) - the
                                                                                                                 Speciality beans           Dominican Republic   dicofol             0.05      0.02 (EC)
                                                                                               MRL for
                                                                                                                                                                 methomyl            0.09      0.05 (EC)
                                                                                                                 Speciality beans           Kenya                dimethoate          0.3       0.02 (EC)
     Chillies                      Jordan                carbendazim           0.6             0.1 (EC)
                                                                                                                                                                 omethoate           0.08      0.02 (EC) - the
                                                         metalaxyl             0.2             0.05 (EC)
                                                                                                                                                                                               MRL for
                                                         methamidophos         1.3             0.01 (EC)
     Chillies                      Kenya                 dicofol               0.1             0.02 (EC)
                                                                                                                 Speciality beans           Thailand             methomyl            0.2       0.05 (EC)
                                                         methamidophos         0.08            0.01 (EC)
                                                                                                                                                                 triazophos          0.6       0.02 (EC)
     Chillies                      Kenya                 dicofol               0.1             0.02 (EC)
                                                                                                                 Speciality beans           Kenya                dicofol             0.6       0.02 (EC)
     Chillies                      Kenya                 fenvalerate           2.7             0.02 (EC)
                                                                                                                                                                 dimethoate          0.2       0.02 (EC)
     Chillies                      Kenya                 carbofuran            0.2             0.1 (EC)                                                          omethoate           0.1       0.02 (EC)
     Chillies                      India                 carbendazim           0.4             0.1 (EC)                                                                                        - the MRL for
     Grapes                        Chile                 methomyl              0.4             0.05 (EC)
                                                                                                                 Speciality beans           Kenya                dimethoate          0.09      0.02 (EC)
     Grapes                        Chile                 omethoate             0.05            0.02 (EC) - the
                                                                                               MRL for           Speciality beans           Cyprus               cypermethrin        1.1       0.5 (EC)
                                                                                               dimethoate                                                        dicofol             0.8       0.02 (EC)
     Grapes                        Turkey                imazalil              0.2             0.02 (EC)         Speciality beans           unknown              dimethoate          0.03      0.02 (EC)
                                                                                                                                                                 profenofos          0.2       0.05 (EC)
     Grapes                        Egypt                 dimethoate            0.09            0.02 (EC)
                                                         omethoate             0.09            0.02 (EC) - the   Speciality beans           Cyprus               methomyl            0.07      0.05 (EC)
                                                                                               MRL for           Speciality beans           Kenya                dimethoate          0.05      0.02 (EC)
                                                                                                                 Strawberries               Spain                carbendazim         1.5       0.1 (EC)
     Grapes                        Spain                 chlorpyrifos          1.1             0.5 (EC)                                                          dicofol             0.5       0.02 (EC)
     Grapes                        Saudi Arabia          methomyl              0.2             0.05 (EC)                                                         endosulfan          0.6       0.05 (EC)
                                                         pirimiphos-methyl     0.06            0.05 (EC)         Strawberries               Morocco              carbendazim         0.6       0.1 (EC)
     Grapes                        Spain                 chlorpyrifos          1.1             0.5 (EC)          Sweet peppers              unknown              methomyl            0.06      0.05 (EC)
     Infant food                   unknown               chlorpropham          0.03            0.01 (EC)         Tomatoes                   Spain                chlormequat         1.5       0.05 (EC)
     containing meat,
     egg, fish or cheese
     Lettuce                       UK                    inorganic bromide     278             100 (Codex)
18                                                                                                                                                                                                               19
     PRC - watching what you eat                                     Available from 5pm-8pm

                                                                     Chilli (Mince)            2002
                                                                     Chillies                  2004
      Available from 7am-9am
                                                                     Chicken/Turkey Nuggets    2002
                                                                     Chips                     2002
      Bowl of Cereal                                                 Beef                      2004
      Milk              every year                                   Peas                      2004
      Oats & Rye            2004                                     Salmon                    2004
      Wheatgrain            2003                                     Potatoes            2002/03/04
      Toast (bread)     every year                                   Wine                      2003
      Marmalade             2004                                     Blackcurrant Juice        2002
      Orange juice          2004                                     Strawberries and Cream    2004
      Sausages              2002
      Egg              2001-2005
      Baked beans           2002
      Bacon                 2004

                                     Available from 12noon-2pm

                                      Cheese / Tuna
                                      Sandwich                2004
                                      Tuna Salad              2004
                                      Beer                    2004
                                      Veg Soup                2002
                                      Jacket Potato     2002/03/04
                                      Melon / Peach           2002
                                      Grapes                  2004
                                      White Chocolate         2002
                                      Coffee                  2004

20                                                                                                    21
       UK samples with residues of pesticides not approved for use on that crop                        11. School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme
       Occasionally, we find residues of pesticides which are not approved for use on a
       particular crop. We only monitor and comment on pesticides not approved for a particular        The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme is part of
       use in the UK, as there is no central source of information on pesticide approvals in other     a government programme to increase the amount
       countries.                                                                                      of fruit and vegetables children eat. Under the
                                                                                                       scheme, all four- to six-year-old children in schools
       If residues are very low they may have arisen by accident (for example, through spray drift     maintained by local education authorities are
       or equipment not being cleaned properly between sprays). On other occasions, residues           entitled to a free piece of fruit or vegetable each
       may indicate illegal use. However, the same residue in an imported crop would not               school day. By the end of 2004, the scheme had
       automatically suggest illegal use, as the pesticide found may be allowed on that crop in        been introduced throughout England, and in 2005
       the country where it was grown.                                                                 it will be distributing 400 million pieces of fruit to
       The pattern of pesticide use can vary widely even between neighbouring EU member                about 16,000 schools.
       states. Although EU regulations are gradually reducing differences, some differences will
       remain, even among member states. This reflects different crop patterns, pest and               One of the main quality-control measures for
       diseases present and market sizes in particular.                                                produce supplied under the scheme relates to
                                                                                                       pesticide residues. In common with other
     Food                Pesticide found                   Residue found(mg/kg)        MRL(mg/kg)      produce supplied to the general public, residues
                                                                                                       in these fruit and vegetables must stay within
     Apples              iprodione                         0.04                        10 (EC)         MRLs. The scheme buys produce from suppliers
     Apples              iprodione                         0.5                         10 (EC)         whose growers follow UK assurance schemes or
     Potato, maincrop    tecnazene (see note below)        0.05                        0.05 (EC)       equivalent schemes abroad.
     Tomatoes            procymidone                       0.2                         2 (EC)
                                                                                                       We take samples of fruit and vegetables for the
       Note: Up to 0.1 mg/kg of tecnazene can arise through contamination during storage. The          scheme from distribution depots and analyse
       source of contamination is likely to be small amounts of residues of the pesticide (too         them for residues at Defra’s Central Science
       small to be measured) remaining in the potato stores from previous approved use.                Laboratory. We compare the results of each
                                                                                                       sample with MRLs and then assess whether any
       Residues in organic samples                                                                     residues found would be likely to affect the health
                                                                                                       of children. The levels of pesticide residues found in fruit and vegetables included in the
       We do not specifically target organic samples in our surveys. We test them as part of our       scheme are similar to that found in the ‘general’ supply chain.
       monitoring programme because they are available for people to buy. The proportion of
       organic samples tested in a survey is roughly the same as the proportion of organic food        We publish our findings on our website ( Results up to and including the
       people buy. Residues we found in our surveys may include some of the small number of            spring 2005 term are currently available there.
       pesticides approved for use on organically-produced food.
                                                                                                       Monitoring fruit and vegetables provided to schools in 2004
       The following organic samples we tested contained residues.
                                                                                                                         Number of         Number of             Number of            Number of
     Food                Origin      Pesticides found      Residue found (mg/kg)      MRL(mg/kg)                         samples           these samples         these samples        these samples
                                                                                                                                           containing            containing           containing
                                                                                                                                           residues at or        residues             several
     Apples              Chile       diphenylamine         0.2                        5 (EC)                                               below the             above the            residues
     Strawberry          Spain       fenpropimorph         0.06                       1 (EC)                                               MRL                   MRL
                                     iprodione             0.09                       10 (EC)
                                     mepanipyrim           0.05                       2 (UK)
                                     pirimicarb            0.1                        0.5 (EC)       Apples              43                35                    0                    23
     Farmed fish         UK          DDT                   0.01                       No MRLs set    Bananas             39                38                    0                    14
     (salmon)                                                                         for fish       Soft citrus         34                33                    1                    31
     Farmed fish         UK          DDT                   0.009                      No MRLs set    Tomatoes            7                 4                     0                    2
     (salmon)                                                                         for fish       Pears               33                27                    1                    19
                                                                                                     Strawberries        3                 3                     0                    2
                                                                                                     Carrots             9                 1                     0                    0

22                                                                                                                                                                                                    23
     12. Dietary intakes and the risk to people                                                   •   One sample of lettuce imported from Spain was found to contain two residues
                                                                                                      above the relevant MRLs (endosulfan at 0.3 mg/kg when the MRL is 0.05 mg/kg
                                                                                                      and methamidophos at 7.7 mg/kg when the MRL is 0.2 mg/kg). A risk
     One of the main objectives of monitoring residues in food is to make sure that people do
                                                                                                      assessment for endosulfan showed that there were no concerns for people’s
     not take in, in their food, levels of chemicals which are harmful to their health.
                                                                                                      health. A risk assessment for methamidophos estimated short-term intakes for 4
                                                                                                      to 6-year-old children and 18 months to 4 year-old children (toddlers) were 13.7
     The amount of residue a person receives depends on:
                                                                                                      and 9.3 times the ARfD. Short-term negative effects on people’s health are
                                                                                                      unlikely, but sensitive children might briefly have symptoms such as sweating,
     • the level of residues in their food; and
                                                                                                      producing too much saliva or stomachs. Longer-term health problems from this
     • the amount of that food eaten.
                                                                                                      residue level are unlikely.
     The calculation also has to take account of a number of factors. For example, the residue
                                                                                                  •   One sample of speciality beans (yard-long beans) imported from Thailand contained
     may relate to the whole food, including parts that are not normally eaten. And the
                                                                                                      two residues above the relevant MRLs (methomyl at 0.2 mg/kg when the MRL is
     residue levels we measure do not take account of any processing of the food, which may
                                                                                                      0.05 mg/kg, and triazophos at 0.6 mg/kg when the MRL is 0.02 mg/kg). A risk
     reduce or increase the level in the food that is eaten. Our estimations of residues eaten
                                                                                                      assessment for methomyl showed that there were no concerns for people’s health.
     take these factors into account. They are based on information from dietary surveys for
                                                                                                      A risk assessment for triazophos showed that intakes for adults and infants were
     various groups of people, including adults, schoolchildren, toddlers and infants. This is
                                                                                                      1.7 and 3 times the ARfD, based on the highest triazophos residue found in
     combined with the information gathered from our surveys. We publish these estimates in
                                                                                                      speciality beans. The highest intake we have assumed is a quarter of the dose
     the reports we issue every three months.
                                                                                                      given to volunteers every day for three weeks without any harmful effect. It is also
                                                                                                      very unlikely that someone would regularly have this intake, as out of the 24 bean
     There are two types of acceptable levels of intake for pesticide residues in food. The
                                                                                                      samples we analysed, only one contained residues above 0.02 mg/kg.
     Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) is the amount that can be eaten every day for a lifetime
     without harming health. The Acute Reference Dose (ARfD) is the amount that can be
     eaten at one meal or in one day without affecting people’s health. ADIs and ARfDs are
     set by the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP) and the EC.

     MRLs are set at levels that would not result in intakes high enough to cause health risks.
     In most cases, residues at the MRL would result in intakes considerably below both the
     ARfD and the ADI. So, even if a residue is above the MRL, this does not automatically
     result in an intake above the ARfD or the ADI.

     In all cases where residues are above MRLs, or where there is any concern about intakes,
     we carry out a risk assessment. This finds out whether the level of residues present
     could lead to the intake being above the ADI or, where appropriate, the ARfD, by a person
     who eats about three times the average amount eaten by most people.

     Main findings, (see also sections 10 and 13)

     •     One sample of round lettuce grown in the UK was found to contain inorganic
           bromide at 278 mg/kg (the Codex MRL is 100 mg/kg). We are concerned about
           this level because short-term intakes of inorganic bromide for adults and 4 to 6-
           year-old children could be 2.9 and 5.4 times the ARfD, based on the highest
           bromide residue found in lettuce. However, the ARfD for bromide may be lower
           than necessary because of the information available for working it out. The highest
           intake we have assumed is just over half the dose given to volunteers every day for
           two or three months, without any harmful effect. It is also very unlikely that
           someone would have a high intake regularly, as of the 24 lettuce samples we
           analysed only one contained more than 20 mg/kg of bromide (the one that
           contained 278 mg/kg).

24                                                                                                                                                                                           25
     13. Follow-up action                                                                              Exporting countries told about residues above MRLs

     If we find a residue above the relevant MRL, this could be a ‘one-off’ (an isolated finding).   Country                      Food                      Pesticide residue found above
     However, if residues above the MRL are repeatedly found in a single survey, or in                                                                      the MRL
     successive surveys of the same food, this suggests that:

            • the pesticides’ approval is not in line with the MRL; or                               Argentina                    Soft citrus               Imazalil
            • growers may be misusing pesticides.                                                    Chile                        Grapes                    Methomyl
     UK approvals are rarely out of line with MRLs, but this may be the cause of a problem in        Cyprus                       Speciality beans          Cypermethrin
     imported produce. If we are concerned about any finding, we can take the following                                                                     Dicofol
     action.                                                                                         Cyprus                       Speciality beans          Methomyl
                                                                                                     Dominican Republic           Speciality beans          Dicofol
            • For any sample containing a residue above the MRL or a pesticide not approved                                                                 Methomyl
              for use on that product, we tell the supplier about the result and ask them to
                                                                                                     Egypt                        Grapes                    Dimethoate
              investigate the cause.                                                                                                                        Omethoate
            • Give the authorities in the exporting country details of the samples with residues     India                        Chillies                  Carbendazim
              above the MRL.                                                                         Jordan                       Chillies                  Carbendazim
            • If the residues found are a health concern, inform other member states using the                                                              Methamidophos
              EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF).                                     Kenya                        Chillies                  Carbendazim
            • In serious cases involving another EU member state, inspectors from the                Kenya                        Chillies                  Dicofol
              Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office will investigate the problem.                  Kenya                        Chillies                  Dicofol
            • If we suspect illegal use of a pesticide on UK produce, the Pesticides Safety          Kenya                        Chillies                  Fenvalerate
              Directorate (PSD) may carry out a special survey, with a view to prosecuting any
                                                                                                     Kenya                        Green beans               Chlorpyrifos
              growers or suppliers they find breaking the law.
                                                                                                     Kenya                        Speciality beans          Chlorpyrifos
     Main actions                                                                                                                                           Dithiocarbamates
                                                                                                     Kenya                        Speciality beans          Dicofol
            • We reported all the samples referred to in section 10 to the retailers, suppliers                                                             Dimethoate
              or growers. We asked them to provide explanations, and we published any                                                                       Omethoate
              we received.                                                                           Kenya                        Speciality beans
                                                                                                                                  (two samples)             Dimethoate
            • We reported residues found in organic samples to the Advisory Committee on
              Organic Standards (ACOS).                                                              Kenya                        Speciality beans          Dimethoate
            • We continued our rapid-response survey of grapes. Defra Horticultural Marketing        Kenya                        Speciality beans          Dithiocarbamates
              Inspectors collected samples twice a month through the year. The samples were                                                                 Profenofos
              tested for 13 pesticides and the results were published on our website                 Saudi Arabia                 Grapes                    Methomyl
              (                                               Saudi Arabia                 Grapes                    Pirimiphos-methyl
            • Where we found residues above the MRL in imported produce, we wrote to the             South Africa                 Soft citrus               Diphenylamine
              relevant authorities in the exporting countries. Details are listed in the table on    Spain                        Grapes (two samples)      Chlorpyrifos
              the next page.                                                                         Spain                        Lettuce                   Endosulfan
                                                                                                     Spain                        Soft citrus               Dimethoate
            • The PSD’s Enforcement Team use the results of our monitoring programme as
              part of the evidence which enforcement action is based on. Enforcement action          Spain                        Soft citrus               Omethoate
              includes surveys of particular crops. In these surveys samples are taken so that       Spain                        Tomatoes                  Chlormequat
              growers, suppliers or retailers can be prosecuted if it is discovered that they        Thailand                     Speciality beans          Methomyl
              have broken the law.                                                                                                                          Triazophos
                                                                                                     Turkey                       Grapes                    Imazalil
                                                                                                     Zimbabwe                     Peaches                   Methamidophos

26                                                                                                                                                                                          27
     14. 2005 Programme                                                                             15. 2006 proposed programme
     Work on the 2005 programme is already well underway and you can view details on our            The proposed programme for 2006 is shown below. Full details, including the pesticides
     website (                                                we will test for, will be published on our website (

     The food we have chosen to include in our surveys takes account of:                              Food                                                         Minimum number of
       •   the foods covered by the EU programme of surveys;
       •   the importance of the food within our diets;
       •   evidence of residues in earlier surveys or other information;                              Apple                                                        144
       •   information on approvals of pesticides on various foods;                                   Aubergines                                                   96
       •   the time that has passed since they were last tested;                                      Baby salad leaves                                            72
       •   the balance of food types (for example, fruit and vegetables, cereals, and so on); and     Bacon                                                        96
       •   cost.
                                                                                                      Bananas                                                      96
     Our list of surveys and the dates the reports will be published is shown below.                  Blueberries                                                  96
                                                                                                      Bread                                                        216
                                                                                                      Cauliflowers                                                 96
     Report                                                           Publication date                Cheese (speciality)                                          72
                                                                                                      Cherries                                                     72
                                                                                                      Currants (red, white and black)                              48
     Quarter 1 -   Samples collected between January
     and March                                                        September 2005                  Flour (including bread flour)                                72
     Quarter 2 -   Samples collected between April and June           December 2005                   Fruit juice (orange)                                         96
     Quarter 3 -   Samples collected between July and                                                 Grapefruits                                                  72
     September                                                        March 2006                      Grapes                                                       96
     Quarter 4 -   Samples collected between October and                                              Ham                                                          120
     December                                                         June 2006                       Honey                                                        48
                                                                                                      Infant food (fruit based)                                    120
                                                                                                      Lamb                                                         96
                                                                                                      Lemons                                                       96
                                                                                                      Lettuces                                                     144
                                                                                                      Lychees                                                      48
                                                                                                      Milk                                                         300
                                                                                                      Pears                                                        120
                                                                                                      Peas                                                         96
                                                                                                      Peppers                                                      300
                                                                                                      Plums                                                        72
                                                                                                      Plums and prunes (tinned and dried)                          48
                                                                                                      Potatoes                                                     144
                                                                                                      Raisins                                                      72
                                                                                                      Rice cakes                                                   48
                                                                                                      Sea fish                                                     96
                                                                                                      Shellfish                                                    72
                                                                                                      Soya milk products                                           120
                                                                                                      Spinach                                                      48
                                                                                                      Speciality fruits                                            48
                                                                                                      Wheat                                                        72
                                                                                                      Yams                                                         48
28                                                                                                                                                                                           29
                                                                                                      The aim will be to significantly reduce the risks arising from pesticide use while not
     16. Pesticides regulatory regime                                                                 reducing the protection given to crops. We expect the European Commission to propose
                                                                                                      a directive outlining controls on using pesticides throughout the EC at the end of
     There are legal controls on selling, supplying, using, storing, importing and advertising        2005/early 2006. The draft is likely to cover the training to be given to professional
     agricultural pesticides. There are also controls on pesticide residues in food. The main         users of pesticides, the certification and regular testing of spray machinery, and special
     rules on selling and using pesticides and on residues in food are increasingly set by the        protection measures for conservation areas.
     EC. Pesticide controls effectively work at three levels – an EC Directive authorising active
     substances, EC Directives setting, maximum residue levels, and national pesticide

     EC Directive on approving pesticides
                                                                                                      17. Update from the Food Standards Agency (FSA)
                                                                                                      Risk assessment of mixtures of pesticides and similar substances
     Directive 91/414/EEC governs the authorisation of pesticide products. This directive:
                                                                                                      The Food Standards Agency (FSA) asked the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food,
                                                                                                      Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) to assess the potential for residues of
       • sets up a list of active substances that can be used in pesticide products in the EC;
                                                                                                      pesticides and veterinary medicines to interact, and whether these combinations could
       • sets rules for adding active substances to the list
                                                                                                      result in risks to people’s health. The FSA’s request arose because of people’s concerns
       • sets common rules under which member states may approve products containing
                                                                                                      about the potential ‘cocktail effect’ of exposure to several different pesticide residues in
         active substances once they are on the list.
                                                                                                      food. A Working Group on the Risk Assessment of Mixtures of Pesticides and Veterinary
                                                                                                      Medicines (WiGRAMP) was set up to take this work forward. The COT report was
     Active substances are gradually being added to the list through a long-term review
                                                                                                      published in October 2002 and its recommendations were approved by the FSA’s Board at
     programme. This programme, which is due to be completed by the end of 2008, is
                                                                                                      its June 2003 meeting.
     considering all the active substances which were approved in one or more of the 25 EC
     member states. Any new active substance has to be approved at EC level before it is
                                                                                                      The COT found that the chance of any health hazard from exposures to mixtures of
     added to the list of approved active substances. Member states may then approve
                                                                                                      pesticides is likely to be small. However, it identified areas of uncertainty in the risk-
     products containing that active substance as long as they meet further safety
                                                                                                      assessment process and made recommendations for further work. These
     requirements laid down in the directive.
                                                                                                      recommendations fell under the broad headings of regulatory, surveillance, research and
                                                                                                      public-information issues.
     Towards the end of 2005 the European Commission is due to present a proposal for a
     regulation to replace Directive 91/414/EEC.
                                                                                                      An action plan to take forward the COT’s recommendations has been drawn up in
                                                                                                      consultation with officials from those agencies and departments with responsibilities for
     Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs)
                                                                                                      approving agricultural pesticides and biocides (these include non-agricultural pesticides
                                                                                                      and disinfectants and preservatives). The plan was issued for full public consultation, and
     There are controls on the amount of pesticide residues allowed in food. These controls
                                                                                                      the responses have been published on the FSA’s website ( The final
     are based on a system of MRLs which set maximum levels of individual pesticides
                                                                                                      action plan was published on the FSA website in March 2005. Details of some of the
     allowed in individual foods. MRLs are not safety levels. They are based on the maximum
                                                                                                      work already underway are given below.
     residue of a pesticide that will be present when the relevant product is used in line with
     the terms of its approval. MRLs will always be set below the ‘safe’ level for people. It is
                                                                                                      Regulation of agricultural pesticides, biocides and veterinary medicines is governed by
     illegal to sell a food with residues above the MRL.
                                                                                                      the EC. The UK cannot act alone to add requirements to the authorisation process of
                                                                                                      these substances. Also, much of the UK's food supply is imported and standards for
     EC law on MRLs is currently laid down in four directives. The directives are continually
                                                                                                      imported foods must be as strict as for foods grown or made in the UK. So the COT
     amended as new MRLs are set. A new EC regulation was adopted in April 2005. This
                                                                                                      recommendations will be introduced in a two-stage process:
     will bring the rules in the directives together into a single piece of law. The new regulation
     will come into force at the end of 2006. The European Commission is currently
                                                                                                      • Stage 1           will carry out the necessary work to underpin the recommendations,
     discussing the detailed arrangements needed to bring the new regulation into force at the
                                                                                                                          as highlighted by the COT.
     end of 2006.
                                                                                                      • Stage 2           the FSA and other government departments will argue vigorously in
     Pesticide approvals                                                                                                  the relevant bodies (for example, the European Commission and the
                                                                                                                          Codex Alimentarius Commission) for changes to EC laws and
     Detailed rules on how each pesticide product may be used, such as the rates and timing                               international standards.
     of applications, are laid down in each pesticide product’s approval. But there are also          Work on Stage 1 has already started. The FSA and other government departments are
     more general controls on pesticide use, such as rules on the training people who apply           identifying and prioritising pesticides and similar substances into groups that work in
     them must have had. This area is currently governed by UK rules, but we are expecting            chemically similar ways leading to the same type of effects. These will be used to assess
     proposals for new EU-wide laws from the European Commission.                                     combined exposure for the highest priority groups. The Interdepartmental Liaison Group in

30                                                                                                                                                                                                   31
     Risk Assessment (ILGRA) has also reviewed of some of the methods available to estimate       18. Communications
     people’s exposure to several sources of pesticides and similar substances, and the most
     suitable method to reflect the situation in the UK has been identified. The FSA’s initial
     requirements for new research were published in May 2003, and commissioning work is          We are keen to publicise our work and make sure everyone can understand what we do.
     progressing under the direction of a research programme co-ordinator. The Pesticide and      For this reason:
     Veterinary Residues Committees have also been consulted on the COT’s
     recommendations.                                                                               •   we publish all our results on our website every three months;
                                                                                                    •   we publish this annual report and make sure it is written in plain English;
     Minimising pesticide residues                                                                  •   one of our four or five meetings each year is open to members of the public; and
                                                                                                    •   our chairman is available for media interviews.
     At its meeting in June 2002, the FSA’s board confirmed its commitment to minimising
     pesticide residues (that is making levels as low as possible). Following extensive           After publishing our 2003 annual report, we held a routine open business meeting in
     meetings with interested bodies and organisations, an action plan was developed which        Birmingham in October 2004. At this meeting, members of the public could ask us
     the FSA Board approved in May 2004. It has been published on the FSA’s website               questions. We are holding another open business meeting in York on 19 October 2005.
     boardmeeting051304/boardminutes130504).                                                      In May 2005 we also held a one-day workshop in York. Speakers debated a wide range of
                                                                                                  issues relating to pesticide residues. We are arranging another workshop in Bristol in
     The action plan identifies what the FSA can do to help the industry to minimise residues,    May 2006. We will provide more details nearer the time.
     by bringing examples of best practice together into useful guidance. The FSA will also
     work with others to identify measures that can be taken to give people the information       If you would like to come along to one of our meetings or workshops, please contact our
     they need about the regulatory controls and organisations which currently exist to protect   secretariat (contact details are at the back of this report).
     their safety.

     Consumer research
     In March 2004, the FSA funded research to improve its understanding of people’s
     concerns about pesticides. The research also aimed to find out:

           •   whether concerns about pesticides influence what foods people buy;
           •   whether concerns about pesticides influence how people prepare food;
           •   what information people want about pesticides; and
           •   the best ways of providing the information that people want.

     The full report is available on the FSA website (

     To build on this research and to investigate how to provide the information people need,
     the FSA is funding more research during 2005.

32                                                                                                                                                                                          33
     19. Our Committee Members                                                                   Maura Wilson               •      Head of Department of General Education at Bradford
                                                                                                                            •      Served on a range of regional and national
     Dr Ian Brown               •   Consultant occupational physician and toxicologist at                                          committees in the field of education.
     – Chairman                     Southampton General Hospital.                                                           •      Graduate in Food Science and worked in the food
                                •   Director of Occupational Health and Safety at                                                  industry on quality assurance and flavour chemistry.
                                    Southampton University Hospital’s NHS Trust.                                            •      Previously taught science in schools and colleges.
                                •   Graduate in medicine and agricultural biochemistry and                                  •      Keen allotment gardener.
                                •   Member of the Advisory Committee on Animal                   You can inspect the Register of Interests, which lists organisations and issues
                                    Feedingstuffs (ACAF).                                        members have declared a particular interest in (including any financial interest) on our
                                •   Member of the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC).   website (
     Anne Clayson               •   Senior lecturer in Environmental Health at Manchester
                                    Metropolitan University.                                     We are advised by a group whose main function is to review analysis results before
                                                                                                 the laboratories send them to us to make sure we are using reliable results. The
     Dr Derek Cull              •   Fresh produce consultant and agronomist for Produce          group is made up mainly of members drawn from the laboratories which carry out
                                    Services International Ltd, working on farms to advise       analysis for us. The group’s members are as follows:
                                    and audit to Assured Produce/EUREPGAP standards and
                                    in factories to BRC Global Technical Food Standards for
                                    food safety and quality assurance.                                 •   Helen Kyle – Pesticides Safety Directorate - Chair
                                •   Active consultant for EU and World Bank projects                   •   David Mason – Central Science Laboratory
                                    worldwide.                                                         •   Dr Sadat Nawaz – Central Science Laboratory
                                                                                                       •   Stewart Reynolds – Central Science Laboratory
     Dr Morven McEachern        •   Lecturer in Marketing and Consumer Behaviour at the
                                    University of Salford, Manchester.                                 •   Dr Sam Mitchell – Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
                                •   Background in agricultural production.                             •   George Merson – LGC Ltd
                                                                                                       •   Andrew Wyeth – LGC Ltd
     Ian Finlayson              •   Managing Director of Practical Solutions International             •   David Lindsay – Scottish Agricultural Science Agency
                                    (a product quality and safety consultancy working with
                                    retailers and suppliers worldwide).                                •   Colin Allchin – Centre for Environment,
                                •   Has worked with many companies and organisations on                  Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
                                    reducing pesticides and Integrated Pest Management                 • Dr Jack Kay – Veterinary Medicines Directorate
                                    (IPM) strategies including the Food and Agriculture                • William Walls – Glasgow Scientific Services
                                    Organisation (FAO), International Institute of Biological
                                    Control and Australian government.

     Hazel Phillips             •   Public Affairs consultant and works part time for an MP
                                    in the House of Commons.
                                •   On secondment to Defra from April to October 2004.

     Professor Andrew Renwick   •   Professor of Biochemical Pharmacology in the School of
     OBE                            Medicine at the University of Southampton.
                                •   Member of the Contaminants Panel of the European Food
                                    Safety Authority.
                                •   An advisor at meetings of the Joint Food and Agriculture
                                    Organisation (FAO) and World Health Organisation (WHO)
                                    Expert Committee on Food Additives.

     Graham Ward                •   Executive Consultant to Snaith Salad Growers, a growers’
                                    marketing co-operative.
                                •   Director of Stockbridge Technology Centre Ltd.

     20. Common questions                                                                         Should I be worried?
                                                                                                  No. The process of approving pesticides carefully considers the type and amounts of
                                                                                                  residues that may result from the use of a pesticide. A pesticide will only be approved if
     What are agricultural pesticides?                                                            any residues which remain are below the levels that may affect people’s health. The
     They are chemical and biological products used on growing or harvested food crops. They      approval process will also consider whether residues will become concentrated or diluted
     help farmers and growers to supply us with good-quality. reasonably priced, food all year    when treated crops are eaten by animals, and the levels which will be present in produce
     round. They do this by protecting crops from weeds, insects, fungal diseases (moulds),       coming from various animals (for example, meat, eggs and milk).
     slugs, snails, rats and mice. They can also be used to influence the growth of plants (for
     example, by stopping potatoes from sprouting).                                               It is, of course, more difficult to control residues resulting from contamination in the
                                                                                                  environment. We and the food industry know which foods are vulnerable to environmental
     I am not sure that I like these chemicals going on my food. Are there any controls?          contamination and the types of pesticides which may be responsible. We make a point of
     Yes. Making sure that our food is safe is important to the Government. However, as           carefully monitoring those foods.
     pesticides are used to control unwanted pests, weeds and moulds, they may also harm
     people, wildlife and the environment. This is why the UK, like most other countries, sets    OK, so residues in food won’t necessarily affect my health, but should I be worried by the
     laws on how and when pesticides can be used. No pesticide can be supplied or used on         amounts you are finding?
     food in the UK without government approval. To get this approval the manufacturer of the     No. About three-quarters of the food we tested this year was free from residues. Almost
     pesticide must show that its use does not present a risk for people’s health or the          all of the rest contained residues within the levels allowed (the maximum residue level or
     environment.                                                                                 MRL). Around 1% of the food we tested had residues above the levels allowed and in
                                                                                                  less than 0.1% of cases we identified residues which might have affected a person’s
     In the UK pesticides are approved by the Pesticides Safety Directorate (an Executive         health had they eaten a large quantity of the particular food (effects were likely to be mild
     Agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). They work closely         and temporary, such as an upset stomach or headache).
     with the Food Standards Agency and Department of Health to protect people’s safety.
                                                                                                  You should also bear in mind that our programme targets foods where residues are
     What are residues?                                                                           expected and so does not represent the UK food supply as a whole.
     The term residue is used to describe the traces of pesticides found in our food. The
     residue may be found either in the same form as the original pesticide applied to the crop   How do I know what the safe limit is?
     or may be found as a different chemical formed from the original pesticide breaking down     To be honest, this question isn’t easily answered in a few sentences. It’s difficult to
     after it is applied.                                                                         define a ‘safe’ level because we are all different. Some of us are larger than others; we
                                                                                                  eat different kinds of food and in different quantities. And some of us may be more
     How do residues get in my food?                                                              easily affected by particular pesticides.
     Most residues are a direct result of pesticides being applied to crops. In order to work
     effectively, pesticides must be applied in appropriate amounts and at the right time. The    To work out whether residues will affect our health, the levels found in foods are ‘risk
     amount of residue in a food depends on:                                                      assessed’. The first step in risk assessment involves identifying, from scientific tests, the
            • the amount of pesticide applied;                                                    amount of pesticide that does not cause any unwanted effects. This amount is then
            • when the pesticide was applied;                                                     reduced to take into account the possibility that some people may be more vulnerable,
            • the chemical properties of the pesticide; and                                       these reduced values are called ‘reference doses’. The next step in the assessment is to
            • the type of crop.                                                                   estimate how much residue a person could eat (exposure). This is done using high levels
                                                                                                  of intakes of the food from surveys carried out by the Foods Standards Agency. The last
     Occasionally, residues can result from contamination in the environment. Residues of a       part is to compare the exposure to the reference dose. If exposure to that pesticide
     small number of ‘persistent’ pesticides remain in the environment.                           residue is within the reference dose, it is acceptable. Exposures to that pesticide residue
                                                                                                  above the reference dose do not necessarily mean that harmful effects are likely. In such
                                                                                                  cases, the assessment takes account of the nature of possible effects and how far below
                                                                                                  the test levels the estimated exposure is.

                                                                                                  Some foods have residues of more than one pesticide - should I be worried?
                                                                                                  No. It’s perfectly normal for more than one pesticide to be applied to a crop in order to
                                                                                                  deal with different kinds of pests.

                                                                                                  We know that some consumers are concerned by the ‘cocktail effect’ - the possible
                                                                                                  implications of there being residues of more than one pesticide in a single portion of a
                                                                                                  food. The independent Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products
                                                                                                  and the Environment reviewed this issue and found that although the risks to people were
                                                                                                  extremely small further research would be useful. In March 2005 the Food Standards

36                                                                                                                                                                                                37
     Agency published their action plan to take forward these recommendations. The reports we          What exactly is an Acute Reference Dose (ARfD)?
     publish every three months contain risk assessments for samples containing residues of            The definition of Acute Reference Dose (ARfD) is similar to that of the ADI, but it is the
     more than one organophosphate or carbamate pesticides. These are groups of different              amount of a chemical that can be taken in at one meal or on one day without any health
     pesticides in the same chemical families the residues could in theory act together instead of     risk. It is normally worked out by applying an appropriate ‘uncertainty factor’ to the
     separately.                                                                                       lowest NOAEL found in studies.

     How much information on residues is available to the public?                                      I don’t understand another term I’ve read in this report. Where I can find out what
     Our reports include details of the residues found and the supplier or grower of the samples       it means?
     we test. We have published this information to help you to make informed choices about the        We have a standard glossary that explains the technical terms we often use in our
     food you buy. Our monitoring programme has shown that residues in all the foods we                reports. You can find it on our website (
     sampled, and from all the retail or supply points, were present at levels which are unlikely to
     have a harmful effect on your health.

     Although fruit, vegetables and cereal products tend to contain more residues than animal
     products, the residues found will not harm your health. The risk to health from cutting fruit,
     vegetables and cereal products out of your diet would far outweigh the risks associated with
     pesticide residues.

     Our monitoring programme samples foods roughly in line with the market share of the main
     retailers. Individual programmes cannot produce valid information on residues in particular
     crops from particular retailers.

     What are MRLs?
     MRLs (maximum residue levels) are the maximum amounts of residue of a pesticide that is
     legally acceptable in any foods available. Virtually every kind of food we eat has a large
     number of MRLs for different pesticides. They typically range from 0.01 to 5 milligrammes of
     pesticide in every kilogram of food.

     The appropriate level to set the MRLs at is decided when a pesticide is being approved. The
     approval will make sure that any residues resulting from using the pesticide will be below the
     levels known to affect people’s health. Trials will have been carried out on crops to find the
     highest residue likely to be present. This information is used, with information about the
     amount of the particular food which can be eaten by different groups of people, to compare
     the possible intake of the pesticide with levels known to be safe and levels known to be
     dangerous to people’s health. The MRL reflects the maximum residue expected from normal
     use of the pesticide and will be set at a level which protects people.

     So MRLs are a check that pesticides are being used correctly. They provide standards for
     foods treated with pesticides. MRLs are not safety limits and residues above an MRL are
     not necessarily a risk to health.

     What exactly is an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) and how is it set?
     The internationally accepted definition of the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) is “the amount
     of a chemical which can be consumed every day for a lifetime in the practical certainty, on
     the basis of all known facts, that no harm will result” (i.e. the amount of a chemical which
     taking account of all known facts can be eaten every day for a lifetime without causing harm).
     It is expressed in milligrams of the chemical for every kilogram of the consumer’s body
     weight. The starting point for working out the ADI is usually the ‘No Observed Adverse Effect
     Level’ (NOAEL) that has been set by animal studies. This is then divided by an ‘uncertainty
     factor’ (most often 100) to allow for the possibility that animals may be less sensitive than
     humans and also to account for differences in sensitivity between people. The studies
     NOAELs and ADIs are based on take into account any impurities in the pesticide active
     substance, and any toxic products when the pesticide breaks down.

38                                                                                                                                                                                                  39
     21. Contact addresses
     Pesticide Residues Committee

     Pesticide Residues Committee
     c/o Pesticides Safety Directorate
     Consumer Safety and European Policy Branch
     Mallard House
     Kings Pool
     3 Peasholme Green
     YO1 7PX

     Phone: 01904 455751
     Fax: 01904 455733

     Pesticides Safety Directorate

     Pesticides Safety Directorate
     Information Section
     Mallard House
     Kings Pool
     3 Peasholme Green
     YO1 7PX

     Phone: 01904 455775
     Fax: 01904 455733

     Food Standards Agency (England)

     Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Branch
     Primary Production Division
     Aviation House
     125 Kingsway
     WC2B 6NH

     Phone: 020 7276 8521


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