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QS residue monitoring confirms safety of fruit, vegetables, potatoes

15/01/2024 | Inspection and laboratory analyses | Fruit, Vegetables, Potatoes | QS scheme

  • Over 99 percent of all samples comply with legal maximum residue levels
  • QS residue monitoring tested 15,880 samples from 33 countries last year
  • Drift problem in less than one percent of samples

Bonn, January 15, 2024 - The results of residue monitoring in the QS scheme of last year showed once again that QS-certified fruit and vegetables are safe and that plant protection products are used responsibly and conscientiously in the QS scheme. The QS scheme has been testing for residues for 19 years now. The most important result for the measurements in 2023: Even in times when extreme weather conditions are becoming more frequent due to advancing climate change, QS producers comply with the legally prescribed maximum residue levels (MRLs) when using plant protection products.

Over 99% of all samples tested were in compliance with the legal limit values, with only 0.71% exceeding the MRLs. At 0.66%, products from Germany were also at a similarly low level in 2023 as in the last evaluation. For Wilfried Kamphausen, QS Head of Fruit, Vegetables, Potatoes at QS, these figures not only attest to the good professional practice of the producers in the QS scheme, but also show that the regular inspections are bearing fruit: QS residue monitoring provides security for the entire branch: we can provide valid evidence that the residue situation for fruit and vegetables is consistently pleasingly low. This is a clear signal to consumers that the fundamental concern about plant protection product residues in fruit and vegetables is unfounded. It also strengthens trust between trading partners.

In the period from October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023, QS-approved laboratories evaluated 15,880 fruit and vegetable samples for residues of plant protection products. The samples came from a total of 33 different countries of origin, the majority of which came from the EU (15,683 samples) and most of which came from Germany (12,191 samples).

Residue monitoring in the QS scheme not only monitors whether applicable maximum residue levels for plant protection products and limit values for harmful substances and nitrates are complied with for fruit, vegetables, potatoes, but also checks whether the active substances detected are approved for the respective product. The result: only 0.96 percent of all samples were found to contain active substances that are not approved for use in the crop in question. The most common cause of this is drift from a neighboring field.


QS will present the current residue monitoring results from February 7 to 9, 2024 at Fruit Logistica in Berlin, Hall 20, Stand B09. QS also provides a detailed evaluation of QS residue monitoring for apples, cucumber and zucchini residues free of charge at the following link (evaluation results: October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023).


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