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Pesticide Residues

Processing factors for crude vegetable oils

Regulation 396/2005 sets maximum residue levels (MRLs) for raw agricultural products, like oilseeds/oil fruits. According to this Regulation, MRLs also apply to processed products (like vegetable oils). In such cases, MRLs can be derived by applying a processing factor (reflecting the concentration or dilution caused by processing) to the MRL of the corresponding raw commodity. But Annex VI of Regulation 396/2005, which was scheduled to set specific processing factors, is today still empty. In absence of harmonized processing factors at EU level, Member States, as well as economic operators, may have a different understanding of MRLs applying to processed products which is a source of uncertainty and problems.

In this context, FEDIOL has strived to have a pragmatic approach on processing factors for vegetable oils and fats that is legally set in the legislation (Annex VI of Reg. 396/2005). This is to ensure a harmonized enforcement of MRLs in the various EU Member States as well as a common understanding between economic operators.

In order to address the absence of legally set processing factors in the meantime, FEDIOL has developed and used since 2007 an approach on processing factors for fat soluble pesticides in crude vegetable oils and fats, already recognised in several Member States (see FEDIOL position). A research project was also run to substantiate this approach.

Pesticide storage management

While we strongly advocate for a proper storage management, as it is one of the ways to guarantee the safety and quality of oilseeds, the lack of residue tolerances for the use of post harvest and storage treatments on oilseeds can lead to incidental MRL exceedances. Indeed, cross-contamination from treated cereals to oilseed may happen during storage.
FEDIOL is commited to solving this problem by raising awareness along the supply chain and with storage managers across the EU.

Analysing pesticides in vegetable oils and fats

The development of appropriate analytical methods to measure pesticide residues in vegetable oils and fats is a challenging task. As a liaison member of ISO, FEDIOL closely follows discussions in relation to this subject.