Consumer health - Commission adopts directive on pesticide - free baby food

JurisdictionIreland
CourtEmployment Appeal Tribunal (Ireland)
Judgment Date06 May 1999
Judgment citation (vLex)[1999] 5 JIEC 0601
Date06 May 1999

Employment Appeals Tribunal

Consumer health - Commission adopts directive on pesticide - free baby food

Abstract:

Food and drinks - health and safety - consumer protection - pesticide residues.

A new directive adopted by the Commission on 18 May 1999 has introduced near-zero level of acceptable pesticide residues in baby-food. The new Directive amends a 1996 directive (96/5) on processed cereal food, which requires that baby food should not contain substances (mainly pesticides) in such quantities as to be harmful to health.

1

A new directive adopted by the Commission on 18 May 1999 has introduced near-zero level of acceptable pesticide residues in baby-food. The new Directive amends a 1996 directive (96/5) on processed cereal food, which requires that baby food should not contain substances (mainly pesticides) in such quantities as to be harmful to health. It will complement directives already in force in this field: Directive 89/398 on foodstuff for nutritional use, 76/895 on pesticide residues on fruit and vegetables, 86/362 on pesticide residues on cereals, 86/363 on pesticides from animal origin, and 90/642 on pesticides on products of plant origin. Beyond the concern for infants' and children's health was the desire to harmonise the various national rules where authorised level of pesticide residues vary greatly from one Member State to another, causing potential barriers to internal Community trade. This is now achieved by adopting minimum rules aligned on the more stringent national provisions found in Belgium, Germany and Austria.

2

The Directive provides that some pesticides are so harmful in themselves that baby-food will not be allowed on the market if it contains cereals treated with them (see Recital 10 and the new Article 6 of Directive 96/5). For most pesticides however, a maximum of 0.01% mg/kg of pesticide residues will be allowed (new Article 6 of Directive 96/5). This figure of 0.01% is the minimum detectable level (see Recital 8).

3

Commission records indicate that more than 800 different pesticides have been notified to the Commission, but that for most of them there are no scientific findings to show what maximum residues levels can be regarded as totally safe for young children. According to the Commission, the figure of 0.01% mg/kg for all pesticides must therefore be regarded as provisional. The Directives allow individual residue levels to be specified in future for individual pesticides as soon as this is justified by new scientific findings.

4

The Directive must be implemented by 30 June 1999 but manufacturer will have until 1 July 2002 to comply with the Directive (Article 2).

5

Commission Directive 1999/39 of 6 May 1999 amending Directive 96/5 on processed cereal-based foods and baby foods for infants and young children.

6

OJ L124/8 of 18 May 1999.

7

Text of the Directive:

Commission Directive 1999/39 of 6 May 1999
8

amending Directive 96/5 on processed cereal-based foods and baby foods forinfants and young

children
The Commission of the European Communities,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community,
9

Having regard to Council Directive 89/398 of 3 May 1989...

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