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Process of updating Maximum Residue Limits in food standards streamlined

7 March 2011

As of 1 March 2011, legislative changes have allowed the APVMA to directly vary maximum residue limits (MRLs) in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (Standard 1.4.2). This will significantly reduce the delay between APVMA approval of a chemical product for use and the inclusion of appropriate MRLs in the Food Standards Code for domestically produced foods.

By streamlining the process of establishing and updating MRLs in the Food Standards Code, producers will have faster access to MRLs to enable them to legally sell treated produce. There will still be a delay of about four months while consultation with domestic and international bodies takes place.

This change follows a reform agreed to by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in July 2008 that called for the recognition by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) of the APVMA's residue risk assessment and the promulgation of the resulting MRL in the Food Standards Code.

The APVMA's risk assessment includes consideration of consumer exposure to chemical residues in foods. The assessment is completed according to international protocols and in consultation with FSANZ.

Last updated on 7 March, 2011