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Canada Proposes MRLs for Deltamethrin and Pyriofenone for Specific Food Commodities

SafeGuardSFruit and VegetablesFebruary 27, 2020

Health Canada’s PMRA has notified the WTO that proposed MRLs for Deltamethrin and Pyriofenone in specific food commodities are to be implemented. Comments from WTO members are due within 75 days of publication, April 19, 2020.

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) that proposed MRLs for Deltamethrin and Pyriofenone in specific food commodities are to be implemented. Comments from WTO members are due within 75 days of publication, April 19, 2020.

Pesticides are widely used in agriculture to combat weeds, molds and pests, thereby increasing productivity. However, pesticide residues in food crops after prolonged exposure can cause several human health problems including cancer, neurological disorders and impairment of the immune system. Therefore, the concentration of pesticide residues in food products must be monitored in order to ensure they are below the maximum residue limits (MRLs). For these reasons, many countries and international organizations such as Codex Alimentarius, the European Union (EU), Australia, China, Canada, and United States have established MRLs for food safety. Codex MRLs are acceptable as a guideline for international trade but these do not cover all food commodities. To avoid the issue of trade barriers, Health Canada’s PMRA has set its own MRLs for Deltamethrin and Pyriofenone for specific foods [1], [2] in Table 1.

For pesticide analysis in various food commodities, the Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe (QuEChERS) is an extraction and clean-up technique that is now widely used and has already been accepted by the international community because of its high sample throughput and low solvent requirements. The final extract is analyzed by either liquid or gas chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS) depending upon its chemical properties. Due to the high selectivity and specificity of MS/MS, it can help laboratories to achieve the reliable quantification and confirmation at the low concentrations required.

Common name
Food commodities
MRLs (ppm)
Deltamethrin (CAS # 52918-63-5)
Dried shelled peas and beans, except soybean
Pyriofenone (CAS # 688046-61-9)Fruiting vegetables
Table 1: MRLs for Deltamethrin and Pyriofenone in specific food commodities

What do the changes mean?

This update has the potential to affect agricultural producers, food manufacturers, and pesticide manufacturers. Food products destined for Canada, if listed in Table 1, must not have residues of Deltamethrin or Pyriofenone exceeding the MRLs. Complying with food safety regulations can be a complex, time-consuming and expensive process. Food producers should seek professional advice.

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