In addition to the established dietary exposure evaluation, EFSA performed for the first time a cumulative risk assessment as part of the 2010 report. The main aim of the pilot me was to assess the need for improvements in the way Member States report monitoring data. EFSA highlighted the value of this trial cumulative risk assessment in paving the way for the better use of the approach in future reports. But it also recognized the need for additional data collection by national authorities and modifications to the methodology in order to reduce the significant uncertainties found in the results.

Mr Fontier said: “Cumulative risk assessment relies on a refined analysis and understanding of the possible types of combined toxicity of chemicals in food. It requires sophisticated methodologies capable of handling and combining huge amounts of data. This is why the pilot cumulative risk assessment presented in the latest report focuses on methodology rather than results, which are inconclusive as they contain a high degree of uncertainty.”

EFSA has been working intensively on the development of these methodologies and on data collection over the last five years. This undertaking, which is also central to the Authority’s work on chemical mixtures in foods, is ongoing and will result in a wider coverage of the combined effects of pesticides residues in future reports.

The 2010 report recommends a series of measures to further improve future monitoring mes and the enforcement of pesticide residue legislation in Europe.

The 2010 European Union Report on Pesticide Residues in Food

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