HL Deb 18 March 1997 vol 579 cc57-8WA
Lord Annaly

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the results of the second survey of variable pesticides residues are now available.

Lord Lucas

The results of the second survey of variable pesticide residues were announced on 14 March. A copy of the announcement and of the supporting documents have been placed in the Library of the House.

The survey results show that levels of residues in the majority of fruit and vegetables fall well below recommended Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs). However, a small number of apples and peaches, including imports, had higher residues than is desirable. We will be reporting these results in full to the Codex Alimentarius Commission so that they can instigate international action to further ensure consumer protection.

A large safety margin is built into the figures used when setting what can be regarded as an acceptable level. The Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Professor Sir Colin Berry, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides, have issued statements which make clear that the results of the second survey for variable residues do not change government advice that fruit and vegetables remain a key component of a healthy diet.

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