Adherence to Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) is an assurance that the food is safe to consume; detection of a residue below the MRL should not be viewed as a violation.
MRLs are established considering the amount of residue required to achieve the necessary control of the target organism AND consumer safety indicators such as the Acute Reference Doses (ARfD) and the Acceptable Daily Intakes (ADI). It is redundant to have additional residue restrictions using the ARfD or ADI.
Import Tolerances (in the EU case MRLs where the active substance is not listed in Annex I of 91/414/EC but has a positive MRL) are the applicable residue limits for commodities imported into a market. This means growers outside the market may use different active substances to control key pests and diseases that occur in those countries compared to local producers.
Unless an importing country’s legislation limits the number of substances that can be present in a commodity, and provided that individual MRLs are observed, there should not be restrictions on the number of substances used.
In accordance with According Commission Regulation (EC) No. 2073/2005 on microbiological criteria, the safety of foodstuffs is mainly ensured by a preventive approach, such as implementation of good hygiene practice and application of procedures based on hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) principles.
HACCP-based food safety programs, such as GlobalG.A.P., CanadaGAP, China GAP and New Zealand GAP have many controls for microbiological, chemical and physical hazards.