The results of the EU-wide testing programme for pesticide residues in foods has been published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The results cover the (then) 27 EU Member States plus Norway and Iceland. The report shows that over 79,000 samples of all different types of food were analysed by national authorities and, of these, 97.5% were below the maximum residue levels (MRLs) set for each pesticide, with the figure for the UK being 99 %. The food type with the highest non-compliance rate in the UK was spinach.
The measurement methods used to conduct these surveys are all validated, accredited procedures carried out by expert laboratories. In case of any dispute over pesticide levels in the United Kingdom, the Government Chemist can act as referee under the terms of the Agriculture Act 1970.
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