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Brazil’s Anvisa: 99% of food analyzed by the agency is free of agchem residueqrcode

Dec. 5, 2016

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Almost 99% of samples analyzed by Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) between 2013 and 2015 are free of residue of agrochemicals that represent acute risk to human health. The data is part of a report of the Program of Residue Analysis of Agrochemicals on Food released by the agency in Brasília. Overall, there were 12,051 samples monitored across 27 states of Brazil.

This is the first time that Anvisa monitors samples for acute risk to human health. The previous analysis was focused on irregularities observed in food samples. The acute risk is related to intoxication that can occur within a period of 24 hours after the consumption of food that contain the agchem residue. This new type of evaluation, which is already done in Europe, United States, Canada, etc., takes into consideration the quantity of certain foods consumed by Brazilians.

Around 25 types of foods, including cereals, fruits, legumes, vegetables and roots were assessed. The criteria was the fact that these items represented over 70% of the food of vegetable origin consumed by Brazilian population.

One of the products with more samples analyzed was orange. Health surveillance in states and municipalities collected 744 samples from supermarkets across all capitals in the country. The evaluation showed that 684 samples were considered satisfactory, while 141 presented residue.

One of the risks identified in orange is related to the agrochemical carbofuran, which passes through a reevaluation process at Anvisa. It is among the present samples that pose the most acute health risk, being 11% of the samples of oranges that presented situations of risks related to carbofuran.

Carbendazim is another agrochemical that deserves attention regarding the acute risk to human health. The results of the program revealed that 5% of the samples of pineapples had risk potential related to the substance. The program started in 2001 with the goal of evaluating the levels of residue of agrochemicals in samples of vegetable origin that arrived at the table of consumers.

In the next years, the program is intended to increase the number of food products monitored from 25 to 36% and would extend the number of agrochemicals researched on the samples, including complexity substances in the analysis such as glyphosate and 2,4-D, among others. 

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