The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs recently published a national food safety standard, titled, “Pesticide Maximum Residue Limit in Foodstuff.”
The standard stipulates a maximum limit of 7,107 items related to the residue levels of 483 pesticides in 356 types of food products while adding 50 pesticide varieties and 2,967 items to its 2016 edition. The number of pesticide varieties and items surpassed the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) for the first time, representing progress in China’s pesticide regulations.
The 2019 edition of the standard covers all pesticide varieties approved in China, with an emphasis on the application of prohibited and restricted pesticides while stipulating 585 residue limit items related to 27 prohibited pesticides, and 311 items related to 16 restricted pesticides.
The new edition also adopted a special niche crop-oriented pesticide residue limit regulation, with 804 residue limit items being added to 119 types of niche crops, including ginseng, waxberry and winter jujube, totaling 1,602 items, twice the number in the 2016 edition.
The new edition represents progress as it increased the residue limits related to animal-derived food products, including the maximum residue limits of 703 items related to 109 types of pesticides used on 27 animal-derived food products, such as meat, egg and milk, which is 14 times the total in the 2016 edition. It also extended the residue limit control coverage to include the same animal-derived food products, along with foods derived from plants, further affirming the ministry’s control of food safety supervision.
To cope with the significant growth in the use of pesticides on imported food and farm products that are not yet registered in China, the new edition has cooperated with the CAC to establish 1,109 residue limit items of 77 pesticides that are not yet registered in China.
The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said that it will ensure that China’s pesticide residue limit standard and detection standard will cover over 10,000 items by 2020.