Early warning analysis of EU’s proposed adjustment of glyphosate residue limit standards on my country’s agricultural exports
By: Date: 2021-01-02 Categories: foodwarning Tags: ,
   It is reported that the European Union, referring to the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) recommendations, intends to reduce the maximum residue limit of glyphosate in 153 agricultural products such as tea from 0.1mg/kg-50mg/kg to the quantitative limit of 0.05mg/kg . my country is a major country in the production, use and export of glyphosate. The EU is an important market for my country’s agricultural exports. The adjustment of its pesticide management policies and residue limit standards will have an important impact on my country’s agricultural exports. Based on the analysis of the policy background and related impacts of the EU’s proposed adjustment of the glyphosate residue limit standard, this article proposes measures.

  1. The policy background for the EU to adjust the glyphosate residue limit standard

   glyphosate is the herbicide with the longest use time and the widest range in the world. It is widely used due to its high efficiency, broad spectrum, low toxicity and safety. To remove crops and plant weeds. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) under the World Health Organization (WHO) issued an evaluation report that listed glyphosate as a”2A” carcinogen, which is a substance that is”probably” carcinogenic to humans and makes glyphosate a body In the “carcinogenic” crisis, some countries have begun to question and ban glyphosate. Although FAO/WHO Joint Meeting of Pesticide Residue Experts (JMPR), European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), Health Canada Pest Management Agency (PMRA), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other international organizations After the assessment of glyphosate by the country’s authoritative organizations, it is considered that glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer (see Table 1 for details), but more than 30 countries or regions have begun to ban or restrict the use of glyphosate, and countries that have not banned it are also continuously strict Glyphosate residue limit standard.

   In November 2017, the European Union voted to extend the use period of glyphosate in the EU to December 2022. In September 2019, EFSA conducted a review and assessment of glyphosate residues in accordance with EU Regulation No. 396/2005. It is recommended that the glyphosate residue limits in 153 agricultural products such as tea should be set from 0.1mg/kg-50mg/kg Reduce to the limit of quantification 0.05mg/kg. It is expected that the EU will accept the EFSA recommendations and adjust the glyphosate residue limit standard in due course. EU members such as France and Germany have begun or plan to take actions to prohibit or restrict the use of glyphosate.


Table 1 International organizations and countries’ assessment conclusions on glyphosate
Time
Organization
Evaluation conclusion
May 2016
FAO/WHO Joint Meeting of Pesticide Residue Experts (JMPR)
Glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer
March 2017
European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)
Glyphosate is not carcinogenic
April 2017
Health Canada Pest Management Agency (PMRA)
Glyphosate is not genetically toxic and is unlikely to cause cancer risk to humans. The residual amount of glyphosate in the diet will not bring health risks to humans
May 2017
EU Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
Glyphosate is unlikely to cause carcinogenic hazards to humans, supporting ECHA’s research results
December 2017
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer to humans

   2. The EU plans to adjust the glyphosate residue limit and the impact analysis on my country’s agricultural exports

   (1) Registration and use of glyphosate in my country. Glyphosate has 51 registered crops in my country and more than 1,400 products. Edible agricultural products involved in agricultural use include fruits, tea, sugarcane, corn, rice, rape, lilies, etc., and non-edible agricultural products include rubber, mulberry, sisal, and cotton (see Table 2).


Table 2 Main registered crops/locations for agricultural use of glyphosate in my country
Registered crops/locations
Number of registered products
Registered crops/locations
Number of registered products
Fruit
Orchard
29
Mulberry tree (mulberry tree, mulberry garden)
47
Citrus (citrus, citrus tree, citrus orchard)
371
Rubber (rubber tree, rubber plantation)
52
Apple (apple tree, apple orchard)
66
Sisal (sisal, sisal garden)
39
Banana Garden
9
Cotton (cotton, cotton no-till field, cotton field, cotton field between rows)
22
Pear Garden
8
Tea (tea tree, tea garden)
70
Grains
Corn (spring corn, spring corn field, no-tillage corn field, summer corn, summer corn field, corn, corn field)
30
Sugarcane (sugarcane, sugarcane field, sugarcane field)
37
Rice (no-tillage and seedling throwing rice field, no-tillage and seedling throwing late rice field, no-tillage direct seeding rice field, rice ridge, late rice seedling throwing field (no-tillage))
21
Rapeseed (winter rape field (no-tillage), no-tillage spring rapeseed, no-tillage spring rapeseed field, no-tillage winter rapeseed, no-tillage rape, no-tillage rapeseed field)
14
No-tillage wheat
1
Lily (Lily Field)
16

   (2) my country’s export of glyphosate registered agricultural products to Europe. According to the statistics of the International Trade Center’s Trade Map database in 2019, among my country’s registered glyphosate crops, tea (US$125 million), citrus and its products (US$110 million) are exported to the EU with a large annual trade volume. Apple and its products (29 million) US dollars), pears and their products (28 million US dollars), rice and their products (14 million US dollars), and sweet corn (18 million US dollars) have a certain amount of export to the EU.

   (3) Comparing my country with EU and CAC glyphosate residue limit standards. From the perspective of main product categories, compared with the EU’s current glyphosate residue limit standards, with the exception of grains of dried beans (excluding lentils and peas), corn shoots, apples and sugarcane, my country’s residue limit standards are more stringent or comparable to those of the EU. Consistent, at the same time, most of my country’s limit standards are also stricter or consistent with the International Food Code (CAC). However, after the adjustment of the EU glyphosate residue limit standard, except for grains, dried beans and oilseeds, the residue limit standards on most plant-derived products are stricter than my country’s current standards (see Table 3).


Table 3 Comparison between my country, EU and CAC glyphosate residue limit standards
crops
China
(mg/kg)
EU current
(mg/kg)
After EU revision (mg/kg)
CAC
(mg/kg)
Paddy
0.1
0.1*
0.1
Not specified
whole wheat flour
5
Not specified
Not specified
Not specified
Peas (dry)
5
10
15
5
Fresh corn
1
3
3
3
Lentils (dry)
5
10
10
5
Wheat
5
10
30
30
Wheat flour
0.5
Not specified
Not specified
Not specified
Corn
1
1
4
5
Miscellaneous grains
2 (except lentils and peas)
0.1* (except lentils, peas, kidney beans, lupins)
0.05*
Not specified
Lily
0.2
Not specified
Not specified
Not specified
Corn shoots
3
0.1*
0.05*
Not specified
Orange
0.5
0.5
0.05*
Not specified
Orange
0.5
0.5
0.05*
Not specified
Orange
0.5
0.5
0.05*
Not specified
Citrus fruits (except tangerines, tangerines, oranges)
0.1
0.1*
0.05*
Not specified
Melons and fruits
0.1
0.1*
0.05*
Not specified
Drone fruit
0.1
0.1*
0.05*
Not specified
Berries and other small fruits
0.1
0.1*(except grapes)
0.05*
Not specified
Apple
0.5
0.1*
0.05*
Not specified
Tropical and subtropical fruits
0.1
0.1*
0.05*
Not specified
Pome fruit (except apples)
0.1
0.1*
0.05*
Not specified
Sugarcane
2
0.1*
2
2
Sunflower seeds
7
20
30
7
Cottonseed oil
0.05
Not specified
Not specified
Not specified
Rapeseed
2
10
30
30
Tea
1
2
0.05*
Not specified
Herbal tea
Not specified
2.0
0.05*
Not specified
Coffee beans
Not specified
0.1
0.05*
Not specified
Peanuts
Not specified
0.1*
0.05*
Not specified
nuts
Not specified
0.1*
0.05*
Not specified
Remarks:* is the limit of quantification.

  (4) The adjustment of EU residue limit standards may affect the types of agricultural products exported. Taking into account the registration and use of glyphosate in China, the export of agricultural products to Europe, and the comparison of China-EU standards, the EU adjusted the glyphosate residue limit standard, Its products, sweet corn and other glyphosate registered crops have an important impact; at the same time, due to the low cost of glyphosate and good weeding effect, there is an over-range use in actual production. The adjustment of the EU glyphosate residue limit standard will also affect some Products that use glyphosate beyond the scope, especially coffee, peppers, ginger, peanuts, temporarily preserved vegetables and other products whose main target market is the EU, have a certain impact.

  3. Suggestions on relevant measures

   (1) Keep track of changes in global glyphosate management policies. At present, various countries have different management policies on the use of glyphosate. The United States, Brazil, Argentina and other countries that widely plant glyphosate-resistant genetically modified crops in the field have a large demand for glyphosate and support the use of glyphosate, while the European Union, Thailand, and Vietnam support the ban on glyphosate. Due to the lack of alternatives to glyphosate in the market, the ban will greatly increase the cost of weeding. It is difficult to ban glyphosate in the short term. Some countries have adopted the practice of gradually promoting the ban by restricting its use. It is necessary to pay close attention to changes in global glyphosate management policies and residue limit standards, and continue to track relevant scientific research developments to provide a reference for my country’s scientific adjustment of glyphosate management measures.

   (2) Participate deeply in the formulation of international standards for glyphosate. The CAC standard is an important basis recognized by the WTO to promote international trade and resolve international trade disputes. At present, CAC has not formulated glyphosate residue limit standards in my country’s advantageous export products such as vegetables, fruits, and tea. It is recommended to provide scientific data to CAC to promote the formulation of relevant CAC standards. At the same time, for unregistered crops such as coffee and peppers that my country has export advantages, carry out residual test research to provide scientific data support for participating in the formulation of CAC standards.

   (3) Establish a rapid warning and response mechanism. In response to changes in the EU and other glyphosate management policies, timely early warning information is provided to domestic industries and export companies to remind companies to prepare in advance. Through multilateral and bilateral forums to raise consultations or concerns, promote the EU to consider the actual production of agricultural products of other members, including China, and determine an appropriate level of protection on the basis of science, so as to avoid excessive protection and cause trade losses. At the same time, it is actively studying alternatives to glyphosate herbicides and formulating effective adjustment and response measures.

Source:Department of Agricultural Product Quality and Safety Supervision, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs