The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently completed its review of maximum residue levels (MRLs) of glyphosate that are legally permitted to be present in food, based on glyphosate residue data in food submitted by all EU member states.

The review covers all crops treated with glyphosate including native European crops and imported crops. Based on the assessment of the available data, MRL proposals were derived and a consumer risk assessment was carried out.

The risk assessment found that, at current exposure levels, existing glyphosate residue levels are not expected to pose a risk to human health.

Animal health

Data from the MRL review formed part of the evidence used in a second report, also published this week, which assessed the potential impact on animal health of glyphosate residues in feed.

The assessment looked at all available information on the presence of glyphosate in feed, including feed imported from outside the European Union. It concludes that glyphosate is not expected to have a major impact, if any, on the health of cattle, sheep, pigs, horses and chickens.

What are MRLS?

Maximum residue levels are the upper levels of pesticide residues that are legally permissible in or on food or animal feed, based on good agricultural practice and the lowest consumer exposure necessary to protect consumers. Glyphosate MRLs in this study were based on an analysis of all existing authorised uses of the herbicide in the EU.

While no apparent risk to consumers from glyphosate MRLs were identified, some information required by the regulations.

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