Germany and Denmark: Pesticide residue findings on foodstuffs are low

German and Danish officials have reported low levels of pesticide residues in food. A report, published by the German Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL), is based on results from 20,283 food samples as part of official controls in 2019. Selection of samples was largely risk-based, which means local authorities looked more at food that had caused issues in the past.

For foods with at least 100 examined samples, most problems were found in pomegranates, tea and beans with pods. Foodstuffs with non-compliance rates of more than 10 percent were mainly exotic fruits and vegetables like okras, cactus fruits, guavas and passion fruits.

In 2019, the maximum residue levels were exceeded in 1 percent of examined foods from Germany compared to 1.3 percent in 2018. For food from other EU countries, the rate was 1.3 percent versus 1.5 percent in 2018. For products from non-EU nations 6.5 percent were non-compliant compared to 8.8 percent in 2018.

For organic food, the proportion of samples with residues above the maximum levels was 1 percent. For the comparable categories of conventional goods, this value was 2.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (Fødevarestyrelsen) found there is generally a low amount of pesticide residue in the fruit and vegetables sold in supermarkets. The report, prepared with the DTU Food Institute, revealed the overall picture for pesticide residues in food on the Danish market was comparable with previous years.


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