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THE PESTICIDE RESIDUES IN AGRICULTURE AND MEDITERRANEAN DIET: A SAFETY FOR CONSUMERS FROM THE DATA OF ONR Simona Moia*, Riccardo Fabbrini** and Gian Pietro Molinari* *Istituto di Chimica Agraria ed Ambientale Facoltà di Agraria -via E. Parmense, 84 29100 Piacenza, Italy **L’Agricoltura che vogliamo ONR - Viale Isonzo, 27 20135 Milano, Italy In Italy the evaluations on pesticide residues are carried out by different Organizations: the official controls and monitoring from Organisms of the Ministry of Health, studies on agriculture productions from Ministry of Agriculture and the controls of input materials in food processing and selling from privates. Figure 2 - Levels of pesticide residue contamination of different classes of foods METHODS The aim of National Observatory on Pesticide Residues (ONR) is to check the extent of the controls on foods carried out in Italy beyond those performed through the official monitoring surveys. In order to these goals, data on the controls of pesticide residues have been jointed from laboratories of farmers cooperatives or individual farms, food companies and wholesale and retail markets. Data are results of analysis of samples collected as close as possible to the point of production in the food chain. The data are then examined with descriptive statistics and elaborated to estimate the dietary intake of pesticide residues by the Italian consumers, according to the criteria recommended by UNEP/FAO/WHO. In the present poster are illustrated: the results of the ONR monitoring activity during the years between 1997 - 2000, and the risk assessment obtained with data of the years 2000. RESULTS Table 1 shows the dimension of the data sets over the years. In the years from 1997 to 2000 the increase in number data are: 35 % for the types of controlled foods active, 9% for investigated substances, 34% for evaluated samples and 115% for number of analytical detections. In the same years 1997 - 2000, the number of active substances always not detected in all analysed samples, has been 15 % improved. The comparison between the National Estimated Daily Intake (NEDI) trough the Italian diet and the respective Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) shows that the most part (73. 9%) of 284 checked pesticides has a NEDI/ADI ratio under 0. 01%. (Fig. 3). Figure 3 - Percent distribution of monitored pesticides contributing to NEDI, listed according to ratio NEDI/ADI% (year 2000) Italian NEDI Table 1: Extent and specifications of data about pesticide residues on food collected from ONR in the years 1997 to 2000 CONCLUSIONS The percentage of samples without residues has been increased from 41% in 1997 to 56% in 2000. residues In the same period the percentage of samples with residues violative of MRL is decreased from 3. 3% to 1. 6% (Fig. 1). Figure 1: Trend of pesticide contamination of analysed food samples in the years. The ONR monitoring activity on pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables from 1997 till 2000, shows: the extension of control programs to a greater number of foods and active substances; the increase of evaluated samples and of analytical detections per samples (from 62 in 1997 to 99 in 2000); in the years: Ø the samples without pesticide residues is continuously growing; Ø the samples with residues is continuously on decrease; Ø the violative samples have been fallen to a very low level (from 3. 3% to 1. 6%) the vegetables are foods with more frequently detected pesticide residues, according to: Ø morphology, Ø agricultural treatments Ø elapsed time between treatment and harvest; the high percentage of regular samples (98. 4%) fits perfectly with that one of Ministry of Health (98. 7%) even though the sampling is random the increase of information in the year 2000, enables to: Ø average pesticide residue levels in food: very far from the guard level fixed to ensure the hygienic- healthy quality of Mediterranean diet Ø make risk assessment as daily pesticide intake (NEDI) by Italian consumers: the NEDI, calculated for each pesticide, represents a very low percentage of the respectively ADI These results allow asserting that the Mediterranean diet, based on consumption of processed products, vegetables and fruits, are safe also about the residues of pesticides. REFERENCES Ø Osservatorio Nazionale sui Residui: Risultati dei controlli effettuati nel 1997. Agrofarma, (1998) The levels of pesticide residue contamination are different between different classes of food (Fig. 2). The percentage of samples without residues is lower in vegetables (45. 2%) that in fruits (56. 0%) and in processed products (77, 1%). The main amount of contaminated samples is not violative (52. 8% in vegetables, 42. 2% in fruits and 22. 9% in processed products) only 2. 0% in vegetables, 1. 8% in fruits and 0. 0% in processed products samples are violative. Ø Osservatorio Nazionale sui Residui: Risultati dei controlli effettuati nel 1998. Agrofarma, (1999) Ø Osservatorio Nazionale sui Residui: Risultati dei controlli effettuati nel 1999. Agrofarma, (2000) Ø Ministero della Sanità. Direzione Generale della Sanità Pubblica Veterinaria, degli Alimenti e della Nutrizione: Controllo ufficiale sui residui di prodotti fitosanitari negli alimenti di origine vegetale. Risultati in Italia per l’anno 2000. Press Conference, Milan 22 June 2000 Ø Codex Alimentarius Commision, Joint FAO/WHO Foods Standards Programme. Document CX/PR 004, Rome (2000) Ø Turrini A. , Saba A. , Lintas C. : Study of the Italian reference diet for monitoring food constituents and contaminants. Nutrition research, 11, 861 -873, Pergamon Press 1991 EPRW 2002 Rome: 4 th European Pesticide Residues Workshop Pesticides in Food and Drink