Australia can lead the way in MRL setting

    22 March 2011

    CropLife Australia today welcomed the publication of the OECD Calculator on Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) of pesticides. Harmonisation of agricultural chemical standards is essential to build trust with consumers and improve access to markets. A broad application of harmonised standards will increase the confidence of consumers in having healthy and safe food on their tables.

    CropLife Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Matthew Cossey, said the release of the OECD Calculator on Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) of pesticides is a vital step in the global harmonisation of standards for agricultural chemicals.

    According to Mr. Cossey, “Harmonisation of pesticide settings is a crucial stepping stone to building public trust and improving access to markets.

    “CropLife believes that the OECD MRL Calculator is a carefully developed and easy to use tool that calculates reliable, science-based MRLs for large and small data sets. We fully support the use of the calculator, while acknowledging that for small data sets the calculated MRLs can result in conservative limits. CropLife is pleased that access to this tool, which includes a user guide, is freely available on the OECD website”.

    “The release of the new MRL tool offers the Australian Government an opportunity to lead the way in improving the efficiency and consistency of our current MRL process and ensuring these standards are used throughout our region, and with our major trading partners” Mr. Cossey said.

    CropLife Australia and its international sister organisations will be strongly encouraging governments, all national regulators and international bodies like the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues and its Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues to make use of the calculator. In this way, it will not only contribute to the harmonisation of international trading arrangement procedures, but will also help advance the use of a single, global procedure to calculate MRLs and bring national MRLs in line with global food standards set by the Codex Alimentarius. Having this tool used beyond OECD countries will assist in establishing a single global procedure for calculating MRLs.

    The OECD MRL Calculator was developed over a period of two years by a group of experts drawn from regulatory authorities, industry and academia. It consists of Excel spreadsheets and does not require the user to download software nor to have extensive statistical knowledge to use it. There is one spreadsheet for single data sets and one spreadsheet for multiple data sets.

    In Australia, MRL standards are enforced by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority. These standards ensure that Australian consumers can have complete confidence that there food is absolutely safe with regard to pesticide residue levels.

    The OECD MRL Calculator can be downloaded from the OECD Website – click here.

    Australia can lead the way in MRL setting.pdf