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Illegal residues rise in Japan

The introduction of strict laws on maximum residue limits (MRLs) in Japan last May has led to a dramatic jump in cases of illegal residues in imported produce. A Ministry of Health survey found 455 cases of MRL violations between June 1st 2006 and March 31st 2007. By contrast, there were 57 such cases in the previous year. The new rules established a strict "positive list" of MRLs for specific pesticides in domestic and imported food (Agrow No 496, p 15). Any commodities found to contain pesticides not on the list, or exceeding MRLs, are banned from sale.

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