From 2008 till the end of 2011, over 600 samples of different commodities varying from strawberries to bovine liver to cereals and baby food were tested in Malta.
The commodities analysed were according to the monitoring program of the current year agreed at European level and were taken randomly from different locations including markets, retailers and importers. Commodities included both local produce and imported products, whereby the former accounted for around two out of three products sampled.
Out of the 170 samples analysed during 2011, 62% of the samples had no detectable residue levels, 33% had residues below the maximum residue level established by the European Commission whereas 5.3% exceeded the maximum residue levels. In cases where the maximum residue level was exceeded and/or a residue of a banned plant protection product was found, criminal charges as prescribed in the Pesticides Control Act were instituted. These varied from the destruction of a whole lot of produce to arraignment in court of the producer.
As for 2012, another 170 samples of fruit, vegetables and products of animal origin are currently being tested for pesticide residues; the results of such testing are being compiled, analysed and will be published at the beginning of 2013 on the MCCAA website www.mccaa.org.mt.
For any further clarifications, one can always contact the Technical Regulations Division of the MCCAA on 2395 2000. Furthermore, consumers who wish to report any unsafe product may do so directly on the Authority’s website http://mccaa.org.mt/loadfile/edec0589-219c-40d7-bb1c-f1d697799d8a.