FSANZ: Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has called for submissions on a proposal to amend maximum residue limits (MRLs) for certain agricultural and veterinary chemicals. FSANZ Chief Executive Officer Mark Booth said the proposal aimed to harmonise limits in the Food Standards Code with limits used overseas.
Download the call for submissions at the FSANZ website. Reproduced with permission of Food Standards Australia New Zealand.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand: Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) today called for submissions on a proposal to create an “all other foods” maximum residue limit for some agricultural chemicals. FSANZ Chief Executive Officer Steve McCutcheon said maximum residue limits are currently set for chemicals and specific commodities. “This has created issues for enforcement agencies and producers because low levels of chemicals permitted on one food may be accidentally found on other foods not listed in the Code,” Mr McCutcheon said.
Fresh Fruit Portal: A U.S. nonprofit representing farmers has criticized the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) latest "Dirty Dozen" list, which ranks produce items based on pesticide residues and now claims strawberries are the "most contaminated". In a release, the Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF) highlighted the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Pesticide Data Program said pesticides did not pose a safety concern for U.S. food.
Growers are always quick to make the distinction. There’s a big difference between foodborne illness due to microbiological contamination and exceeding the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) for an agricultural chemical. The smallest traces of a human pathogen can lead to much suffering, even death, but the many-fold human safety buffer built in to the regulatory pesticide limits means that many, many kilograms, if not tonnes, of offending fruit or vegetable would need to be consumed before ill effects from the pesticide are suffered.
The Australian Food and Grocery Council has submitted an application to request consideration of maximum residue limits (MRLs) for agricultural chemicals concerned with individually quick frozen (IQF) blueberries and raspberries imported from Chile.
The request is made to address a need for sourcing competitively priced ingredients in a convenient format for consumers wishing to incorporate blueberries and raspberries into their diets.
The chemicals for which the MRLs are requested are Azoxystrobin (blueberry); Fenhexamid (blueberry); Fludioxonil (blueberry) and Bifenthrin (raspberry).
These chemicals are already permitted to be used in Australia for other commodities.
Read the executive summary here.
Read about the submission in more detail.
Last month, the Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand, released the findings from the annual Food Residue Surveillance Program which targeted locally-produced and imported crops prone to exceeding the maximum residue limit (MRL) set for agricultural chemicals.
The study looked at chemical residues in fresh, unwashed produce and results indicated that most growers are using pesticides responsibly in the recommended manner with only a few exceptions. This year’s focus was on asparagus, eggplant, feijoas, hops, lemons, olive oil, persimmons, pumpkins, spring onion, sweet corn, tamarillos and walnuts.
Produce is sampled over the 12 month period so as to allow for seasonal variation in the food. The results are reported on after each quarter of testing. This differs from previous studies where sampling produce occurred twice over a short period of time.
Read the full article.
Find out more about the Food Residue Surveillance Program at the Ministry for Primary Industries | Manatu Ahu Matua, New Zealand.