Livsmedelsverket’s (the Swedish Food Agency's) sampling of pesticide residues in food during 2021 has shown that, similarly to previous years, the majority of foods tested did not contain pesticides that exceed EU maximum residue limits (MRLs). In most domestic samples, no residues were detected at all.
A total of 867 random samples were taken across six food categories in 2021, of which, 43 percent contained no detectable pesticide residues. However, in 36 samples (4.2 percent), pesticide concentrations above the MRLs were found. Rice samples imported from non-EU countries accounted for 44 percent of the total number of samples that exceeded pesticide MRLs.
One explanation for the majority of pesticide MRL exceedances being found in rice can be attributed to the recent lowering of the limit for tricyclazole, with ten out of 16 rice samples that violated any MRLs containing excessively high levels of the chemical. A total of 65 rice samples were tested.
The pesticide residue level results for each of the six tested food categories are as follows:
- Fruit and berries (fresh and frozen): 4.1 percent exceedance
- Vegetables (fresh and frozen): 1 percent exceedance
- Baby food: no exceedance
- Cereals and cereal products (including rice): 19.5 percent exceedance
- Animal products (bovine fat and eggs): no exceedance
- Other processed products (e.g., edible oils and dried fruit) no exceedance.