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EFSA reassures: according to the latest annual report the risk of pesticides into the dish is low. The 97% of the food samples analyzed in Europe is free from residues or contains traces within the legal limits.
However, we do not know much concerning the cocktails of chemicals and the effects of their simultaneous presence on humans, animals and environment. To evaluate that, EFSA is launching a pioneering initiative, Mix Tox. It is a complex operation that cross check the toxicity data with data on exposure to assess the potential risks according to three assumptions: additivity of dose, additive response, interactions (synergies and antagonisms). A long process that started in 2013, now opens the public consultation for the harmonization of methods of analysis. It will take several years.
In the meantime, here is what has emerged from the annual report on residues in Europe:
- 97% of the samples within the legal limits;
- 53.6% of those with no quantifiable residues; 43.4% with residues within the permitted concentrations;
- baby food: 91.8% of samples devoid of measurable residues;
- biological products: 98.8% free of debris or c within legal limits;
- long-term risk (chronic) or short-term (acute) are unlikely.
Some EFSA recommendations to further increase the efficiency of the European control system:
- extend monitoring to small fruits, berries and tea in which residues had oftenbeen found • reduce the analysis on animal products to focus the monitoring on feed (eg. soybean, canola and barley);
- include compulsory analysis of glyphosate under the above crops;
- include honey in the “basket” of samples.