EC lawyers are rejecting arguments that chlorate traces should be classed as contaminant rather than ‘plant protection product’. However, the proposals do recognise such traces arise from hygiene biocides used for food safety.
Maximum residue levels have now been proposed for various commodities, including meat, fruit and veg, cereals, milk, plus processed foods.
The proposal aims to allow for chlorate arising from hygiene controls in defined processed foods, excluding frozen commodities and ready-to-eat salads. Under the new rules, food business operators would have to prove chlorates in processed food samples were from legitimate inputs, not pesticides.
The EU Standing Committee on Plants Animals Feed and Food is expected to formally vote on proposals after a new Commission is formed.