Residues of pesticide products in fruits and vegetables are continually decreasing, according to the report by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which shows that 97.4% of samples of foodstuffs in the EU are below maximum residue levels allowed by law. The analysis involved almost 68,000 samples of food products. A positive statistic that can be put alongside the one highlighted by the Annual Report of the National Integrated Plan for Food Security checks in 2010, which showed that 98.5% of Italian farms fully respect the norms of hygiene for product safety and agriculture is the sector with the lowest rate of irregularities in the food sector.
Moreover, over the past few days statistics by Istat (Italian Statistics Institute) showed a further reduction in the use of pesticides in the Italian countryside (-2.4% in 2010 and -6.8% in the decade 2000-2010), and active ingredients in chemical preparations were also down (-3.4%). The situation will further improve with the implementation of the European Directive on the sustainable use of pesticides, which has already established a ‘road map’ in order to achieve even higher standards in terms of quality of agricultural products, consumer protection, environment and the farmers themselves.
The results of the annual EFSA report show that European citizens can be reassured as far as pesticide residues are concerned and that there is no food safety concern. These data also refute all unfounded alarmist claims made in the past on this subject in Europe and Italy, highlighted Agrofarma, an association owned by Federchimica. And for once, Italy is at the forefront: in fact according to EFSA 99.3% of the samples has zero residues or below the legal limits.