Gurus of Pesticide Residue Analysis
Many of the world’s leading experts came together for the 10th European Pesticide Residue Workshop (EPRW) in Dublin, Ireland, this summer for an international exchange of information and experience. Here, the chair – Finbarr O’Regan – and scientific committee members Lutz Alder and André de Kok reflect on the current regulatory landscape, historical milestones, and the challenges and techniques that will dominate the future.
Finbarr O’Regan , Lutz Alder, André de Kok, Sergio Nanita |
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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