Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) notified the WTO of new MRLs of Pyroxsulam and Triflumezopyrim in specific foods. They came into force on November 3, 2020.

SAFEGUARDS | FoodNO. 172/20

 SG 17220 Chicken

Nowadays, many pesticides are widely used to prevent crop diseases and increase agricultural productivity.  Some of those pesticide compounds are not biodegradable and accumulate in the environment, plants, and food-producing animals, such as meat, milk and eggs. Ultimately, this accumulation can cause adverse health effects via food chains. Therefore, the monitoring of pesticide residues in foods is currently prioritized and extensively evaluated to ensure food quality and safety. 

In response, food agencies and regulators in countries including Australia, Canada, China, the European Union (EU), and United States have set their own Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for pesticides in various foods to protect human health. They then notify members of World Trade Organization (WTO) avoid trade barriers. Recently, two new substances are being used in Canada – Pyroxsulam and Triflumezopyrim used in Canada. In response, Health Canada’s PMRA has stipulated MRLs for some products [1], [2] as shown in Table 1.

To extract both compounds simultaneously with other pesticides from different food matrices, an attractive method for sample preparation called as QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe) is offers high sample throughput and low solvent requirements. Depending upon its chemical properties, liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) can also be an appropriate technique to achieve the reliable quantitation and confirmation at the low concentration levels required.

Common Name Food Commodities MRLs (ppm)
Pyroxsulam (CAS # 422556-08-9)
Eggs, fat, meat and meat by products of cattle, goats, hogs, horses, poultry, and sheep; milk, triticale
Triflumezopyrim (CAS #1263133-33-0)  Rice 0.2

Table 1 Maximum residue limits for Pyroxsulam and Triflumezopyrim in specific foods 

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 the residues 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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