The United States and other countries set maximum residue limits on fresh produce for various chemicals, including pesticides that might be used before or after harvest. These materials must be labeled for use on the crop of interest and used only according to label instructions.
While it is unlikely for US MRLs to be exceeded when label instructions are followed, other countries representing important export markets for Florida citrus set their own MRLs. When they are are lower than US MRLs, use of certain pesticides may need to be modified or discontinued to keep from exceeding the country’s tolerances. Violations may lead to rejected loads of product, restrictions on future shipments and even increased requirements for the entire industry to a given market.
Since changes in MRLs occur throughout the year, growers are encouraged to regularly check that the materials used in their spray programs are compatible with the intended market.
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