The maximum residue limits (MRLs) for chlorpyrifos-methyl, the soon to be withdrawn active used to treat grain stores, have been reduced to 0.01mg/kg for all grains. According to European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) this will apply from ‘around October 2020’.
The regulation includes a shorter than normal period of deferral for application of the lower MRLs (three months instead of the usual six months from the date of entry into force of the regulation - expected on July 1).
EFSA says this is because it has identified concerns about possible genotoxic effects as well as neurological effects during development meaning no safe exposure level can be set for the substance.
The new reduced MRLs will become applicable around October 2020 and will apply to constituents of food and feed produced in the EU and also to imports.
Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) sector head of crop protection, Hazel Doonan says: “The short time scales set by the Commission for the application of the new MRLs means that produce treated with chlorpyrifos-methyl prior to the final use-by date may exceed these by the time the MRLs apply.
“AIC made its concerns known to CRD [Chemicals Regulation Division], however, since January 31, 2020 the UK is no longer eligible to attend SCoPAFF [European Commission plant health] meetings. AIC, through its contacts in European trade associations, highlighted the consequences of the short timescales to competent authorities in other EU member states attending the SCoPAFF meeting.
“The decision taken at the meeting will create uncertainty and disruption for trade when there are already many challenges facing farmers, grain traders and animal feed manufacturers.”