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codexalimentarius > Codex Texts > Maximum Residue Limits

Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs)

The traces pesticides leave in treated products or those left by veterinary drugs in animals are called "residues".

Pesticide residues

A maximum residue limit (MRL) is the highest level of a pesticide residue that is legally tolerated in or on food or feed when pesticides are applied correctly in accordance with Good Agricultural Practice.

Veterinary drug residues

The maximum residue limit (MRL) is the maximum concentration of residue legally tolerated in a food product obtained from an animal that has received a veterinary medicine.

Key points

The amounts of residues found in food must be safe for consumers and must be as low as possible.

Codex sets MRLs for all food and animal feed

The MRLs for all crops and all pesticides are publicly available on the Codex website.

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CAC/MRL 2Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) and Risk Management Recommendations (RMRs) for Residues of Veterinary Drugs in FoodsCCRVDF2017