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 from 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 47th  Session of the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues was held in Beijing, China from 13 – 18 April 2015.

Matters for Adoption by the Commission

  • Draft and proposed draft MRLs for pesticide at Steps 8 and 5/8 with omission of Steps 6/7

Other matters for adoption

  • Maximum residue limits for pesticides recommended for revocation
  • Guidance to facilitate the establishment of maximum residues limits for pesticides for minor crops (including Appendix on Methodology to assign Crops into Consumption Categories) (for inclusion as an Annex to te Risk Analysis Principles Applied by the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues)
  • Codex schedules and priority list of pesticides for evaluation by JMPR

Matters of Interest for the Commission

The Committee:

  • noted matters referred to the Committee by the Commission and its subsidiary bodies and provided replies when appropriate in particular as to the monitoring of the implementation of the Codex Strategic Plan 2014-2019 (para 18, Appendix II);
  • agreed to retain several draft and proposed draft MRLs for pesticides awaiting for JMPR evaluations or responses to concern forms (para 119, Appendices VI and VII);
  • 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 119, Appendix VIII);
  • agreed to hold Group 015 – Pulses and Group 014 – Legume vegetables pending finalization of the Classification of Food and Feed in relation to the vegetable commodity groups and some pending issues related to the classification of commodities in these groups (paras 123 and 130, Appendices IX and X);
  • agreed to further consider crop grouping for Group 011 - Fruiting vegetables, cucurbits, Group 020 – Grasses of cereal grains, 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 130, 135 and 138);
  • 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 137);
  • agreed to consider a discussion paper on on the impact of the relocation of Vigna spp under the Beans (dry) on the CXLs for Peas (dry) at its the next session (para 122);
  • agreed to further consider the proposed draft Guidance for performance criteria for methods of analysis for the determination of pesticide residues (para 144);
  • agreed to make available the tables on the application of the Guidance to facilitate the establishment of maximum residue limits for pesticides for minor crops as an information document on the Codex website (para 155, Appendix XI, Part B);
  • agreed to encourage member countries to work on the pilot project in the framework of the Global Minor Uses (GMU) Steering Committee in charge of the database and data-sharing (para 155); and
  • agreed to request member countries to provide data to populate the GMU database which would allow the submission of proposals for MRLs for minor crops to the EWG on Priorities for inclusion in the CCPR Schedule and Priority List of Pesticide (para 155).

Next Meeting

The 48th Session of the Committee will be held in approximately 12 months time in China.

Related Links

Last reviewed:
19 Jun 2015