Dáil Éireann - Volume 414 - 10 December, 1991
Written Answers. - Pesticide Residues.
Mr. Carey Mr. Carey Mr. Connor Mr. Connor Miss Flaherty Miss Flaherty Mr. J. Mitchell Mr. J. Mitchell Mr. J. Bruton Mr. J. Bruton
88. Mr. J. Bruton, Mr. J. Mitchell, Miss Flaherty, Mr. Connor and Mr. Carey asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he has available any information on the levels of pesticide residues in food originating in Ireland; and if any standards exist on levels which are considered unacceptable.
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Dr. Woods) Michael J. Woods
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Dr. Woods): Officials of my Department regularly inspect and take samples from consignments at wholesale and retail market levels.
The results of testing over the years, give no cause for concern about the level of pesticide residues in Irish produce.
Maximum permitted levels of pesticide residues in respect of a range of food commodities are prescribed in statutory regulations as follows: European Communities (Pesticide Residues) (Fruit and  Vegetables) Regulations 1989, S.I. No. 105 of 1989; European Communities (Pesticide Residues) (Cereals) Regulations 1988, S.I. No. 216 of 1988; and European Communities (Pesticide Residues) (Foodstuffs of Animal Origin) Regulations 1988, S.I. No. 217 of 1988.
The maximum residue levels are based on the results of detailed supervised residue trials, taking cognisance of the toxicological implications, and placing a strong emphasis on safety factors for the consumer of the products. They apply to all produce on the market whether home-produced or imported.
In the event of an excess of pesticide residue being found, my Department have power to seize the produce or to restrict further sales from the same origin and/or to prosecute the person engaged in the sale.
A full report on the monitoring of pesticide residues in food during 1990 has been published by my Department. I have arranged for copies to be sent to each of the Deputies involved in the question under reply.
Dáil Éireann 414 Written Answers. Pesticide Residues.