The European Food Safety Authority has published a new report on the content of pesticide residues in EU food. The study, which dates from 2017, tested 88, 247 samples of food products for 801 different pesticides, and found that 95.9 percent of the analyzed products were within the legal limits. This marks a reduction in the percentage of products found to be within legal limits compared to 2015 (97.2 percent) and 2016 (96.2 percent).
Most of the samples analyzed came from Iceland and Norway (64.3 percent of the total), 28.8 percent of the samples were from products imported from third countries, and 6.9 percent of the products were of unknown origin.
According to the results, of the 88, 247 samples of analyzed food products, 54.1 percent were free of quantifiable residues, while in 41.8 percent of the samples analyzed, pesticide residues were detected equal to or below the maximum permitted levels.
On the evaluation of the dietary risk of the analyzed samples, the EFSA explains that the probability that European citizens are exposed to levels of pesticide residues that could cause them health problems, is low.
The food group with the highest levels of pesticide residues are vegetables and cereals including rice, pears, dried beans, carrots, rye, kiwis, potatoes, onions, cauliflowers and oranges.
The agency says that pesticides not approved by the EU should not be found in products produced on community soil, but can be found in food products from third countries as long as they do not exceed the legal limit.