More than 97% of all samples analysed as part of the latest Europe-wide monitoring programme of pesticides in foods contain residue levels that fall within legal limits – with over 54% of samples free from any detectable trace of the chemicals. These findings are part of the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) 2012 annual report on pesticide residues in food. The report is based on the analysis of almost 79,000 food samples carried out by 27 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway.

Organic foods showed a lower MRL exceedance rate compared to non-organic products (0.8% versus 3.1%). The non-compliance rate of food imported from third countries into the EU, Norway and Iceland was five times higher than foods originating from these nations (7.5% compared to 1.4%). The foods with the highest MRL exceedance rates were broccoli (2.8%), cauliflower (2.1%), table grapes (1.8%), sweet peppers (1.4%) and aubergines (1%). The foods with the lowest MRL exceedance rates were peas without pods and olive oil (both 0.1%), wheat (0.7%) and bananas (0.7%).

Click here to read the full article and access the report from the European Food Safety Authority.