From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Maximum Residue Limit (MRL)
Mains level : Not Much
Amid reports that several samples of basmati rice contained the residue of certain pesticides above the maximum residue level (MRL), the Punjab government has decided to ban the use of 10 formulations.
Which are the chemicals banned?
- The State government believed that the sale, stock distribution, and use of Acephate, Buprofezin, Chloropyriphos, Methamidophos, Propiconazole, Thiamethoxam, Profenofos, Isoprothiolane, Carbendazim, and Tricyclazole was not in the interest of basmati rice growers.
- It is said that there is a risk of breaching the MRL fixed by the competent authority for basmati rice.
What is the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL)?
- MRL is the highest level of pesticide residue that is legally tolerated in or on food or feed when pesticides are applied correctly in accordance with Good Agricultural Practice promulgated by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
- The MRL is usually determined by repeated (on the order of 10) field trials at an appropriate pre-harvest interval or withholding period has elapsed.
- For many pesticides, this is set at the Limit of determination (LOD) – since only major pesticides have been evaluated and understanding of acceptable daily intake (ADI) is incomplete.