EU report 'does not exclude' health risks from dimethoate

April 14 , 2016

The European Commission plans to analyze a recent report published by the EU food safety watchdog about the potential health impacts of dimethoate, a common insecticide used in cherry production.

In its assessment, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) highlighted there was limited information on the issue at the moment, but it could not exclude "potential long-term consumer health risk resulting from residues related to the use of dimethoate-containing plant protection products".

Reuters reported German company BASF and Cheminova, part of FMC, were key companies whose products contained the chemical.

The investigation was prompted by a request from the French Government to take emergency measures relating to the use of dimethoate.

The report mentioned current dimethoate exposure limits may not exceed the appropriate daily intake, but limitations of information meant current calculations "cannot be understood as evidence that dimethoate-related residues are not posing a long-term consumer health risk".

"The French observation that the results of the pesticide monitoring programmes show a higher MRL exceedance rate for dimethoate compared with other pesticides is confirmed by EFSA.

"EFSA concludes that a comprehensive review of the existing EU MRLs would be appropriate. This review is planned under Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005."

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