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Fields & Applications Food, Beverage & Agriculture, Thin Layer Chromatography, Gas Chromatography, Liquid Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry, Metabolomics & Lipidomics

Gurus of Pesticide Residue Analysis

How would you describe the impact of pesticide residue analysis on society?

Finbarr O’Regan: A 2010 European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) food barometer study showed that, across the 27 EU member states, some 72 percent of Europeans are concerned about the presence of pesticide residues in food. In conventional agricultural production, the effective and safe use of plant protection products is critical to mitigate the negative effects of pests and plant diseases. It is important that consumers can be confident that pesticides are being used in accordance with good agricultural practice.

André de Kok: Well, the analysis of pesticide residues ensures safety of consumer products and, therefore, indirectly but positively affects the health of consumers. What could be more important than that?

Lutz Alder: Like Finbarr, I’d like to draw on the 2010 food barometer survey report on risk perception for EU consumers. The survey was carried out on a representative sample of 26,691 individuals, aged 15 or over. Those European consumers who are concerned about possible food-related risks tend to worry more about chemical contamination of food rather than bacterial contamination or health and nutrition issues – in fact, the number one concern was pesticide residues!

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About the Authors

Finbarr O’Regan

Finbarr O’Regan

Finbarr O’Regan is technical manager at the Pesticide Control Laboratory at the Department of Agriculture, Food and The Marine in Ireland. The laboratory is the national reference laboratory for pesticide residues in food of plant origin, cereals and feeding stuffs, food of animal origin, and also for single residue methods. Finbarr assesses methods to ensure they are fit for purpose, deals with technical issues, and works with the quality manager to ensure continued accreditation of the lab and that the scope is expanded where necessary. In 2014, Finbarr was the chair of the European Pesticide Residue Workshop (EPRW), leading the scientific organizing committee.


Lutz Alder

Lutz Alder

Lutz Alder has been employed by the German Federal Health Office – now the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) – since 1991. At the BfR, he is responsible for the evaluation of monitoring methods for pesticide residues provided for pesticide registration. He is the chairman of a German Working Group that publishes Germany’s official methods for pesticide residues and the convenor of two working groups of the European standardization body, CEN, which are responsible for European methods for pesticide residues. Lutz has been on the EPRW Scientific Organizing Committee since its inception.


André de Kok

André de Kok

André de Kok is senior analytical chemist for the NVWA - Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, which is the national reference laboratory for pesticide residues in food and feed. André is responsible for method development and validation, and the implementation of new methods and improvement of existing methods in the routine analysis team. André was also on the scientific organizing committee of the 10th EPRW.


Sergio Nanita

Sergio Nanita

Sergio Nanita is principal investigator at DuPont Crop Protection R&D, where he leads analytical and environmental chemistry projects that support the discovery, development, registration and launch of novel agricultural products.

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