Photo: Colourbox.dk

Still fewer pesticide residues in Danish produce

Friday 20 Nov 15

Contact

Jens Hinge Andersen
Emeritus
National Food Institute
+45 35 88 72 52

Contact

Bodil Hamborg Jensen
Senior adviser
National Food Institute
+45 35 88 74 68

If you want to minimize your intake of pesticide residues you may want to choose Danish produce which contains fewer pesticide residues than imported produce. This is one of the finding of this year’s Pesticide Report 2014 from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration and the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark.

Consumers can minimize their intake of pesticide residues by filling their shopping baskets with Danish produce. This is one of the findings of the Pesticide Report 2014, which has just been published by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration and the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark.

A total of 2,510 samples have been analyzed as part of the Danish pesticide control in 2014. The results show that imported fruit and vegetables still contain more pesticide residues than Danish produce and that pesticide residues are more often found in samples of conventionally grown fruit (68%) than in samples of conventionally grown vegetables (41%).

In fruits of Danish origin pesticides residues have been detected in 45% of samples. However, in fruit from EU countries pesticide residues have been found in 73% of samples, while the figure for fruit from outside the EU is 69%. In vegetables produced in Denmark pesticides have been found in 25% of samples, while the figures for vegetables produced in the EU and outside the EU are 52% and 46% respectively.

More often several pesticides in the same imported sample

Residues from more than one pesticide in the same sample have also been found more frequently in imported fruit and vegetables compared to the tested Danish produce. In total 33% of the imported samples contained more than one pesticide compared with 8.4% of the Danish samples.

179 of the samples are organic foods, and pesticide residues have been found in five (2.8%) of the samples, all of which are imported. However, it has been deemed that the rules for organic farming have only been breached in one case.

As in previous years pesticide residues have not been found in baby food or meat.

No findings of health concern in Danish produce

A total of 98.5% of the samples of conventionally grown, unprocessed fruit, vegetables and cereals contain either no residues or residues below the allowable limit set by the EU.

For the fourth year in a row no samples of Danish fruit have exceeded the allowable limits, and the limits have only been exceeded in six (1.8%) of the samples of fruit produced in the EU and in seven (2%) of the samples of fruit produced outside the EU.

In conventionally grown vegetables of Danish origin the limits have been exceeded in just one (0.4%) of the samples. In comparison, the figures for conventionally grown vegetables produced within the EU and in countries outside the EU are four (1.2%) and five (4%) respectively.

Overall the National Food Institute assesses that the pesticide residues found in the tested samples do not give rise to health concerns, apart from two foreign samples of carrots and dried maize kernels. As a consequence the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration have withdrawn the products from these two batches from the market.

The National Food Institute continues to conclude that the pesticide residues found in foods overall on the Danish market should not give consumers reason to be concerned about their health.

Read more 

See the entire report (in Danish only): Pesticidrester i fødevarer 2014 – Resultater fra den danske pesticidkontrol (pdf).

The annual pesticide report from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration and the National Food Institute is based on quarterly monitoring data, which is regularly published in quarterly reports. These reports are available in Danish only on the institute’s website: Pesticide Residues.

Please also read about the National Food Institute’s ranking of fruit and vegetables based on their content of pesticide residues in a press release from 28 June 2014: Danish fruits and vegetables are least burdened with pesticide residues.

http://www.food.dtu.dk/english/news/nyhed?id=2917ef78-c1b1-4128-919a-ab2429ca5a9b
19 OCTOBER 2018