1 Sept 2016
Australia Amends MRLs for Six Pesticides in Various Food Commodities
On July 26, 2016 APVMA published Gazette No. 15 to amend MRLs of pesticides including Flamprop-methyl, Azoxystrobin, Chloridazon, Fluensulfone, Mandipropamid, and Meloxicam in foods.
Pesticides are used throughout the world for crop production to increase yields, improve quality, and extend storage life. Increased application of pesticides has caused noticeable environmental pollution and adverse health effects. To ensure food safety for consumers, maximum residue levels (MRLs) for pesticides in commodities have been established – mostly in eight key regions, including the US, Europe, China, India, Australia, Japan, Brazil, and South Africa. However, there is no global harmonization and pesticide MRLs still differ from country to country, potentially impacting international trade.
Focusing on food regulation in Australia, the APVMA has taken studies on agrochemicals, in terms of their metabolism, analytical methodology, residue toxicology, good agricultural practices and dietary exposure into account prior to establishing these MRLs. All pesticides and veterinary drugs must be registered and obtain APVMA approval before food producers can apply them to fields or animals. These MRLs are detailed in Schedule 20 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. To update the code, the MRLs in APVMA Gazette No. 9 are replaced with the official MRLs as per APVMA Gazette No. 15. A full list of the pesticide MRLs and food commodities mentioned in the new code are shown in the table below.
What do the changes mean?
Updates to Australia’s MRLs have the potential to affect agricultural producers and food manufacturers in third countries. The residue of pesticides in or on food products destined for Australia must not exceed these new MRLs. For support in complying with the food safety regulation, producers should seek professional advice.
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