Greenpeace slams new EU pesticide residue rules

29 August 2008 18:33  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--The European Union’s (EU) new rules on maximum residue levels of pesticides expose German consumers to higher levels than previously allowed, Greenpeace Germany said on Friday.


The new rules, intended to harmonise residue levels across the EU, are due to come into effect on 1 September.


But Greenpeace said in many cases the new residue limits were much too high, compared with previous levels.


It cited a joint study with Austrian environmental group GLOBAL 2000 that found high residues in apples, grapes, peers tomatoes and paprika and said the higher levels were particularly harmful for small children.


The group called on Germany’s consumer affairs ministry to press EU authorities to revise the limits and recommended that consumers turn to bio food products.


It also said it was supporting a legal case brought by activists group Pesticide Action Network Europe again the EU commission.


However, industry commentators said the new rules, replacing diverse national and EU legislation, would improve legal certainty and enforcement for food producers, importers, traders and regulatory authorities.


Germany’s Industrieverband Agrar, an industry group that represents crop chemical producers, welcomed the harmonised pan-EU rules.


“The rules ease trade within the EU, for consumers they bring more transparency, and all EU members countries will now have an equally high level of safety,” said the group’s general manager Volker Koch-Achelpohler.


The new limits for pesticide residues had been thorough reviewed by the European Food Safety Authority and national authorities, he added.


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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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