The concept of the European Union Reference Laboratories (EU-RLs, formerly CRLs) and National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) is laid down in the Regulation (EC) No. 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council. The overall objective of the EU-RLs and NRLs is to improve the quality, accuracy and comparability of the results at official EU control laboratories.
Four EU-RLs were established in 2007, each covering a specific commodity or method category for the analysis of pesticide residues in food. These are:
Fera is the UK NRL for the first three areas listed above.
Fera has established a reputation for implementing new technologies, developing and validating new methodologies and extending the scope of existing methods in order to include new pesticide/matrix combinations. Fera also has a long history of providing comprehensive surveillance/monitoring services involving the use of multi-residue methods and single/selective methods for pesticides that are not amenable to multi-residue analysis.
Pesticide Residues analyses are performed for the UK competent authority, the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) and for commercial clients from the food manufacturing and retail industries.
Legal limits for the concentrations of residues in food are set by the European Commission (DG SANCO). These are known as Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs). An expert Defra committee, the Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF), under the auspices of CRD, is responsible for monitoring the frequency and concentrations of residues in the UK food supply. CRD perform risk assessments on the residues found in the food to ensure that concentrations are within the safety limits established by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and that there are no health concerns for consumers.
Fera is one of five UK laboratories that undertakes the analysis of food samples for the UK national monitoring programme for the Defra Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF), formerly the Pesticide Residues Committee (PRC). This programme also incorporates the requirement for the EU Cooordinated multiannual control programme implementing Regulation (EU) No. 1274/2011.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) annually prepares a comprehensive report based on the residue results submitted by each member state: The 2010 European Union Report on Pesticide Residues in Food.
Both the UK and EU programmes are undertaken to ensure compliance with Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) as stipulated in Commission Regulation (EC) No. 396/2005, and to assess consumer exposure to pesticide residues in and on food of plant and animal origins.
Cereals and feeding stuffs
National Food Institute
Department of Food Chemistry
Danish Technical University (DTU)
Food of animal origin and commodities with high fat content
Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt (CVUA) Freiburg
Fruits and vegetables, including commodities with high water and high acid content
Laboratorio Agrario de la Generalitat Valenciana (LAGV)
Grupo de Residuos de Plaguicidas de la Universidad de Almería (PRRG)
LAGV: E-46100 Burjassot-Valencia
PRRG: E-04120 Almería
Single residue methods
Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt (CVUA) Stuttgart
Pesticide Approvals, Label Information and Maximum Residue Levels - LIAISON provides details of products approved for use on any crop you select
Dr. Sadat Nawaz leads the Pesticide Residues team and is a prominent residue specialist. Our services include:
Telephone: +44 (0)1904 462 440
Download our Multi-Residue Screen Leaflet here
PRiF provides independent advice to the government on the monitoring of pesticide residues in food working closely with the Chemicals Regulation Directorate and the Food Standards Agency, to provide independent advice to the Health and Safety Executive and the Food Standards Agency (FSA), and UK Ministers.
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