Technical Bulletin – Chlorates

Following the recent EFSA meeting held 12-13th June 2014

Chlorate is a substance that is no longer approved as a pesticide according to Commission Decision 2006/865/EC. Since no specific MRL was fixed under Reg. (EC) 396/2005, the default MRL of 0.01 mg/kg is applicable to all products included in Annex I of that Regulation.

In a survey performed by the CVUA Stuttgart, 600 samples of plant origin were analysed. In 19.8% of them residue levels were found between 0.01 and 0.92 mg/kg. Divergent approaches as regards the issue of chlorate in fruits and vegetables have resulted in problems in EU trade and therefore a harmonised enforcement approach is appropriate.

The proposed approach is of a temporary nature and should be replaced by appropriate permanent risk management measures once an EFSA risk assessment will be available.
Based on available monitoring data it was proposed that all plant products except vegetables were set at 0.1 mg/kg and all vegetable commodities set at 0.25 mg/kg.

Although the Commission confirmed that the temporary levels have been agreed by the Member States, some Southern Member States opposed the levels proposed by the Commission. According to these Member States the proposed levels were too low and therefore the vote was blocked.

In the meantime a default MRL of 0.01 ppm will remain in place for an unlimited time.

SAL can now offer testing of both chlorate and perchlorate – UKAS accredited.

For further information, contact Dr Naresh Patel at SAL Ltd. via email or on 01954 782791.