EU implements a temporary MRL for chlorpropham

The European authorisation of the sprout inhibitor chlorpropham, which was previously used for potato storage, has been withdrawn and its use is now forbidden by law. Due to its frequent use in recent decades, contaminated dust from the walls, floors or crates in storage sheds still ends up in the potatoes in small quantities. For this cross-contamination of potatoes in storage sheds in which chlorpropham was previously used, the SCoPAFF (Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed) decided on 29 September to set a maximum residue limit (MRL) of 0.4 mg/kg.

This MRL is so low that consumers are protected and illegal use is impossible, but is high enough to enable the use of existing storage facilities. The sector will monitor residues in potato storage and, based on the results, the European Commission will annually evaluate whether the temporary MRL can be lowered further.

The SCoPAFF decision still has to be approved by the European Council and the European Parliament. Official publication of the decision is expected in about five months. The temporary MRL will take effect six months after publication. The effective date will therefore be around the summer of 2021. Until then, the current MRL of 10.0 mg/kg will remain in force.