The healthy image of fresh fruit and vegetables could be damaged next year when EU Maximum Residue Levels on pesticides are harmonised and in some cases reduced down to the level of detection.
Nigel Garbutt, independent chairman of standards body EurepGAP, warned that when the rules changed from January 1, previously permissible MRLs could become illegal.
“Growers and importers who were previously operating within accepted levels could be judged to be operating illegally. Safety levels will not be breached, but any resultant publicity could lead to consumers feeling produce was not safe to eat.”