15 May 2014
China updates National food safety standard on maximum residue levels of pesticides
On 20 March 2014, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the Republic of China announced No 4/2014, National food safety standard on maximum residue levels (MRLs) of pesticides in food (GB 2763-2014). This standard shall enter into force on 1 August 2014 and at the same time GB 2763-2012 shall be repealed.
The new standard defines 371 pesticide items and a total of 3650 MRLs in food and replaces GB 2763-2012. The 3650 MRLs are based on pesticide toxicity evaluation (acceptable daily intake: ADI), dietary structure (pesticide residues intake level), and actual residues on crops in farm produce (the monitoring data received on the field residues). Additionally, evaluations of foreign countries and international organizations standards were taken into consideration. The standard was published after a consultation phase based on scientific, open and transparent procedures.
The new standard expands food and agricultural produce varieties. The MRLs apply to 284 food groups which contain almost all products, e.g. vegetables, fungi, fruits, nuts, pulses, oilseeds and oil fruits, cereals, tea, spices and products of animals. The new standard covers common pesticides in agricultural production which includes 371 pesticides. In the future, the standard shall be updated regularly to include more pesticides. The new standard primarily updates MRLs in vegetables and fruits and defines 2495 MRLs for 115 varieties of vegetables and 85 varieties of fruits to resolve the serious pesticides problem in vegetables and fruits.
The new standard is closely aligned with CODEX ALIMENTARIUS COMMISION (CAC) standards. Among the 1999 MRLs in the CAC standards, 1811 MRLs are equal to or stricter in GB 2763-2014 compared to CAC standards.
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