Pesticide residues

​​Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (Host Government - China)

The Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) provides recommendations to the Codex Alimentarius Commission about maximum limits for pesticide residues for specific food items or groups of food.

A Codex Maximum Limit for Pesticide Residues (MRL) is the maximum concentration of pesticide residue (expressed as mg/kg), recommended by the Codex Alimentarius Commission to be legally permitted in or on food commodities and animal feeds. Foods derived from commodities that comply with MRLs are intended to be toxicologically acceptable and safe for human consumption.

Codex MRLs apply in international trade and are derived fr​om evaluations conducted by the Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR).

Existing Codex Standards

A number of standards relating to pesticide residues* have been endorsed and adopted into the international food code they include standards on:

  • ​Analysis of Pesticide Residues: Guidelines on Good Laboratory Practice in Pesticide Residue Analysis
  • Analysis of Pesticide Residues: Portion of Commodities to which Codex MRLS apply and which is analysed
  • Analysis of Pesticide Residues: Recommended Methods
  • Extraneous Maximum Residue Limits (EMRLs)
  • Methods of Sampling for Pesticide Residues for the Determination of Compliance with MRLs

* This is an indicative list only. For a full list of standards approved by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, please consult its Official List of Standards

Last Meeting

The 48th Session of the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues was held in Beijing, China from 25 – 30 April 2016.

Matters for Adoption by the 39th Session of the Commission

  • Proposed draft MRLs for pesticide at Step 5/8 (with omission of Steps 6/7) (para 113. Appendix II);
  • Proposed draft revision of the Classification of Food and Feed: Selected commodity groups - Group 021 Grasses of cereal grains at Step 5 (para 141, Appendix X);
  • Proposed draft Guidelines for performance criteria for methods of analysis for the determination of pesticide residues at Step 5 (para 163, Appendix XI).

Other matters for adoption / approval

  • Maximum residue limits for pesticides recommended for revocation (para 113, Appendix III);
  • Codex schedules and priority list of pesticides for evaluation by JMPR (para 182, Appendix XII).

Matters of Interest to the Commission

The Committee:

  • noted matters referred to the Committee by the Commission and its subsidiary bodies and confirmed that guidance provided in the Procedural Manual and in the Risk Analysis principles applied by the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues were sufficient to ensure transparent and efficient work management and therefore no additional guidance was needed (para 9);
  • agreed to retain several draft and proposed draft MRLs for pesticides awaiting for JMPR evaluations (para 114, Appendices IV and V);
  • agreed to withdraw several draft and proposed draft MRLs for pesticides in view of the advancement of corresponding MRLs to the Commission for adoption (para 114, Appendix VI);
  • agreed to hold Group 011 – Fruiting vegetables, cucurbits, Group 015 – Pulses, Group 014 – Legume vegetables pending finalization of the Classification of Food and Feed in relation to the vegetable commodity groups at its next session (paras 126 and 134, Appendices VII, VIII and IX);
  • agreed to further consider crop grouping for Group 021 Grasses for sugars or syrup production and Group 024 Seeds for beverages and sweets at its next session as part of the ongoing revision of the Classification of Food and Feed (paras 145 and 150);
  • agreed to continue to work on examples of selection of representative commodities for vegetable and other commodity groups in parallel with the revision of the Classification of Food and Feed for inclusion in the Principles and Guidance for the Selection of Representative Commodities for the Extrapolation of Maximum Residue Limits for Pesticides to Commodity Groups (para 157);
  • agreed to consider advantages and challenges that might arise from the possible revision of the IESTI equations and the impact on risk management, risk communication, consumer protection goals and trade at its next session (para 193).

Next Meeting

The 49th Session of the Committee will be held in approximately 12 months time in China.

Related Links

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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