Pesticide residues

Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (Host Government - The Netherlands)

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 45th Session of the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues was held in Beijing, China from 6 – 11 May 2013.
At this meeting the Committee agreed to recommend to the 36th Session of the Commission the following:

  • Draft and proposed draft MRLs for pesticide at Steps 8 and 5/8 with omission of Steps 6/7
  • Draft revision to the Classification of Food and Feed at Step 5 (selected vegetable commodity groups – roots and tubers) at Step 5;

Other matters for adoption

  • Principles and guidance for the application of the proportionality concept for estimation of MRLs (for inclusion in the Procedural Manual as an Annex to the Risk Analysis Principles applied by the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues)
  • Consequential amendments to maximum residue limits for pesticides for fruit commodity groups due to the revision of Classification of Food and Feed as per these commodity groups.

New work

  • Priority List for the Establishment of MRLs for Pesticides
  • Guidance on performance criteria specific for methods of analysis for the determination of pesticide residues 

Revocation of MRLs

  • Revocation of Codex MRLs for pesticides (paras 17 - 90 and Appendix IV). 

Download the report from this meeting

Next Meeting

The 46th Session of the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues will be held will be held in China, from 5 — 10 May 2014.

Download the agenda for this meeting

Related Links

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

National Residues Survey

Last reviewed:
19 Aug 2013