Pest and Pesticide Management

Addressing Food Safety and Pesticide Residues: Key Takeaways from JMPR 2023


The Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) 2023, a key gathering of scientists from around the world organized by FAO/WHO secretariats, took place from September 13 to 28 in Washington DC, USA. More than 60 experts from 25 countries participated, making it a collaborative effort to address the challenges involved in food safety and risk assessment of pesticides residues.

The Meeting was opened by Dr Edward Messina, director of the Office of Pesticide Program of the US Environmental Protection Agency, who emphasized the invaluable contribution of JMPR to the scientific assessment of pesticide residues. The director highlighted the role of JMPR in protecting human health and fostering international trade by ensuring the safety of food and agricultural products.

Outcomes and New Challenges

The key outcome of the JMPR 2023 was the evaluation of 35 pesticides: comprising 7 new pesticides, 7 periodic review pesticides, and 21 pesticides for new use and additional Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs). The Meeting recommended over 300 MRLs, 600 Supervised Trials Median Residue (STMR) and Highest Residue (HR) for risk assessment, showcasing a comprehensive approach to food safety and management of pesticide risk.

Seven general considerations emerged from the JMPR 2023, which includes, enhancing CCPR/JMPR operational procedures, increasing the capacity of JMPR, and developing a new chronic dietary exposure model etc. The Meeting recognized the growing demand for setting MRLs and the consequent backlog of pending pesticides for evaluation and MRL development.

These proactive measures aim to streamline the evaluation process and address the bottleneck, ensuring timely responses to the evolving landscape of pesticide use and regulation.

The Commitment 

The Meeting actively responded to specific concerns raised by Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) member countries and member organizations, demonstrating a commitment to transparency and accountability. These statements contribute to build trust and ensure that the concerns of various stakeholders are adequately addressed in the context of pesticide residues.

The JMPR takes place annually since 1963 to conduct scientific evaluations of pesticide residues in food and estimates the acceptable levels of pesticide residues in food moving in international trade. As the challenges of pesticide use evolve, the outcomes of JMPR 2023 provide a roadmap for safeguarding the well-being of both consumers and the sustainable development of global agriculture.