The FSSAI has proposed amendments in the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011, related to tolerance and related to harmonization of MRLs of pesticides. The FSSAI has invited views, comments and suggestions on the draft notification within a period of 60 days beginning from August 8, 2017.
The proposed amendments are to be made in the regulation related to Residues (2.3) in the category ‘Restriction on the use of insecticides’. FSSAI has allowed for the use of insecticides on foods within the Maximum Residue Limit (mg/kg) and has removed the words Tolerance limit mg/ kg ppm) from the table. It has also proposed that
- No insecticides shall be used directly on articles of food.
- However, this does not pertain to application of fumigants which are registered and recommended for use on articles of food by the Registration Committee, constituted under section 5 of the Insecticides Act, 1968 (46 of 1968)
The new list of insecticides is now extended to include the names of 219 insecticides/ pesticides as compared to 149 names in the previous list. The names of insecticides in the table have been given alphabetically given which will make it easier for FBOs to check the table for the Maximum Residue Limits of any particular insecticide that they have used on the various foods against that insecticide. It will also make it easy to test foods to ensure that the residues of insecticides are well within the Maximum Residues Limit (MRL) in mg/kg for any particular insecticide.
In a note, the FSSAI has stated that all the MRL/tolerance limit values of these insecticides are provisional for a period of five years and have not been fixed on the basis of actual data in the Indian context. These values may be reviewed after five years or as and when the relevant scientific data is made available to FSSAI, whichever is earlier.
Some of the MRLs given in the table have been recommended by 49th Session of Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) like for example Imazethapyr limit for Soybean and also Spiromesifen limit in Tomato and Cotton seeds and in Tea (green & black) to cite just some examples.
In milk and milk products the MRL for various products has been calculated on Fat Basis like for example Benomyl, Carbendazim, Edifenphos and Fenvalerate (Fat soluble residue) in Milk and Milk products and besides these there are others also in the exhaustive list of insecticides.