On 21 January 2016, the European Commission published Regulation 2016/60 reducing significantly the chlorpyrifos maximum residue levels (MRLs) from 0.5mg/kg to the limit of determination (0.01mg/kg) for dried grapes, de facto banning the use of this pesticide thereon. The new, stricter levels have applied since 10th August 2016, meaning that only food products meeting the new MRLs can be marketed in the EU after that date. This decision was made following the conclusion of the EFSA reasoned opinion from 2015 suggesting the reduction of MRLs for chlorpyrifos in a number of food commodities to the limit of determination including for table grapes. Exceedance of the acute reference dose (ARfD) was reported based on a very conservative risk assessment.
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In previous years, chlorpyrifos was legally used both in the EU and in third countries to treat various crops. This fresh produce has been used for further processing, extending their shelf life significantly. These derived products with an extended shelf life are still being marketed, traded and used as an ingredient by the EU industry.

Following many meetings and debates with importers, ministers and lobby groups during the first 6 months of 2015, a revised MRL level was proposed for chlorpyrifos at 0.2mg/kg in the UK, as well as other EU countries. On the 22nd July 2015, the following FRUCOM Newsletter in Brussels stated: The UK. No enforcement action will be taken regarding findings of chlorpyrifos residues at 0.2 mg/kg or below in dried fruits treated before 10 August 2016. Dried fruits that are treated after 10 August 2016 will be subject to enforcement action on the basis of the statutory MRL set under Regulation 2016/60. In the event that the guideline level has been breached, an assessment of the risks to consumers of the level found will be carried out.

Unlike other origins worldwide, the California raisin industry have for some years already been working to 0.01mg/kg after chlorpyrifos was effectively banned from rural use in the 1980’s. In this way the California raisin industry has already adopted a more sustainable, Eco-friendly approach to growing raisins, which is of interest to major customers worldwide.

For further information please contact The California Raisins Administrative Committee on 01628 535 755 or via email at info@ukraisins.com.

CALIFORNIA RAISINS

Tel: 01628 535 755

Email: info@ukraisins.com

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