Eurofins operates several pesticide testing laboratories within its global network in addition to the Group's Competence Centre, Eurofins Dr. Specht Laboratories in Hamburg. Eurofins Dr Specht Laboratories are ISO accredited, supplemented by accreditation according to GLP. Safety considerations pertaining to the use of chemical pesticides for food production and public health require adherence to proper application practices. There are more than 1, pesticides currently available for use and with mounting regulation to protect human health, pesticide testing has become a.
From the early use of elemental metals to the current use of thousands of synthetic pesticides, the goal has remained the same: Beyond food and agricultural uses, pesticides facilitate disease prevention and reduction. Consider the proliferation of the West Nile virus, responsible for tens of thousands of reported cases and nearly 1, deaths across the United States since the U.
Chemical spray treatments control mosquitoes in nonaquatic environments; however, spray drift can deposit on agricultural crops. Additionally, occupational, public and ecological exposures must also be considered.
Registrants conduct toxicological, environmental fate and ecological impact studies of the pesticide based upon the application rates. Appropriate residue tolerances are issued for the pesticide based upon the risk assessments conducted by EPA and the application rates directed by the registrants. Pesticides not registered through FIFRA for application on a specific commodity are considered not permitted for use on that crop.
Regulations for approved pesticide use apply to both domestic crops and imported foods. As food commodities destined for the U. How does this regulation affect international food producers exporting to the United States? If that food producer regularly exports to the U. However, countries often independently establish their own limits, commonly referred to as maximum residue limits MRLs. These limits are based on the maximum allowable applied chemical pesticides that result in residues that produce no apparent adverse health or ecological effects.
Although investigations, evaluations, assessments and final rulings resemble those performed by EPA with regard to pesticide registration, the resulting residue level allowed can vary by country.
Regional geographic and growing conditions, native and invasive pest populations and cultural practices contribute to the selection and application rates of pesticides used. But the context of federal regulations ultimately dictates the acceptance or refusal of any commodity into a country.
Regulatory Monitoring Programs The fast pace of enterprise in the 21st century presents challenges with regard to the regulatory laws pertaining to pesticide residues. For that reason, FDA tests both domestic and incoming foods for pesticide residues as part of its enforcement activities. Testing performed by FDA laboratories provides the basis for investigations into so-called violative residues.
These investigations have resulted in fines to the U. FDA reported similar findings when comparing domestic and imported products spanning the last 10 years Figure 1. In the report, 0. The PDP reported more above-tolerance violations for domestic compared with foreign U.
However, unintentional use spray drift or crop rotation or intentional misuse also may have played a role in violations. Pesticide residue monitoring and surveillance is not unique to the United States. Canada, the European Union EU , Japan and other developed nations have organized programs to assess and regularly monitor domestic and incoming foods for pesticide residues. This ensures that foods meet necessary regulatory and safety requirements for consumers.
Sampling Practices for Pesticide Testing The technique used to collect a sample for pesticide testing is undeniably the most critical step in the residue testing process. Proper sampling ensures the sample submitted fully represents the crop, shipment or production lot. Localized events, such as drift of a pesticide from a neighboring crop, can result in an illegal residue, particularly if the neighboring crop is a different commodity. Statistically based sampling ensures all regions of crop identified for testing are represented and that sample test data reflect the entire crop.
Localized sampling will contribute a bias to the result; if the crop is later resampled, a subsequent result can conflict with the original number. The approach for sampling varies based on the product type and composition. Procedures for acceptable sampling techniques are available through regulatory agencies.
Following the collection of a sample for testing, expedient steps to ensure the integrity of the sample are important to ensure the generation of meaningful sample data. Numerous pesticides are subject to loss due to volatility or degradation at ambient or elevated temperatures.
The preferred approach is to send the sample to the laboratory immediately upon collection. However, if this is not feasible, freezing stabilizes the sample by slowing down the potential loss of pesticide residues. Selecting a Laboratory and Pesticide Screen Identifying an appropriate laboratory and residue screen ensures proper risk mitigation for all involved.
Pesticide residue screens offered by laboratories often include single or specialty residue screens, along with multi-residue screens. Tests targeting single or specific compound classes often are available based on the chemistry of the pesticide s and, in some cases, apply only to a small subset of commodities.
These screens deliver highly targeted results—often with a short turnaround—when only a single pesticide residue is in question. For example, a supplier may choose to test for a specific residue to verify its absence on a crop. While the fungicide was approved for use on oranges in Brazil and Mexico, carbendazim was not registered with the EPA. FDA targeted carbendazim in imported orange juice at all ports of entry. Single-residue screens offer useful information about specific pesticides that may or may not have been applied; however, they neglect to deliver additional information regarding other potential residues.
Multi-residue screens provide a significant advantage over single-residue screens by detecting and quantitating many classes of insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, growth regulators, repellents and synergists, offering an elevated level of security, particularly when unforeseen factors contribute to unapproved residues in crops.
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Take the opportunity to hear from leading pioneers in their field to learn more about innovative solutions that enable you to make advances in your research. Pesticide testing on hundreds or even thousands of samples day in day out has become part and parcel of routine food and beverage labs across. This is the new reality. Along with the demand for more crops to feed the rising global population, sustainable food production methods that have effective pest intervention are also much needed.
Consequently, farmers have taken measures into their own hands to protect and improve harvests. The result — a surge in the use of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. Residues from these substances are left behind on produce and sometimes even absorbed; thus, entering the food supply.
Brookside Laboratories is a leader in pesticide testing. The environmental laboratory provides pesticide testing for a wide range of sample matrices such as . For that matter, do food companies really even have to worry much about performing routine pesticide testing? While there are no simple answers to these . Testing for Pesticides and Pesticide Exposure. When pesticides enter our environment, many things affect how long they will last and where.