• Alert- Paraquat contamination in Brazilian soybeans  26/08/2016

    Notification to EFISC certified operators 

    Based on a recent incident in the Netherlands EFISC asks all EFISC certified companies to be alert to a possible contamination with Paraquat in soybeans and products derived thereof (soya hulls and soya meal) from Brazil  in order to assure the placing of feed materials on the market in compliance with EU legislation and National requirements. Although the issue is reported for Brazilian soybeans, attention should also be paid to other origins.

    No problem is detected regarding the soya oil as Paraquat is soluble in water and not soluble in fat.

    Back ground

    Paraquat is a herbicide, legally used in America (North and South) on several crops including soybeans. It may be applied on soybeans before harvest (as a harvest aid or dessicant).

    Paraquat is not authorised in the EU. A Maximum Residue Level (MRL) of 0,02 mg/kg is applied in the EU.

    EFISC has been informed about an exceedance of the level of paraquat residues in soybean products derived from soybeans imported from Brazil and handled in The Netherlands.

    There is uncertainty associated with pesticide residue testing; analysis for paraquat show very uneven results depending on the lab; ongoing research (Rikilt) identifies factors of poor repeatability in the case of paraquat.

    The Dutch authorities sampled soybeans and soybean products from different operators. Paraquat levels measured in these samples are similar to those reported by the operator which first reported the issue.

    This indicates the potential of a sector issue with Paraquat which might be structural. Whilst there are no information yet on the level of Paraquat in imported meals from Brazil and/or levels in soybeans/soybean products from other geographical origin (US, Paraguay, Argentina), we alert food and feed economic operators about this issue.

    Further investigation of the situation, in particular with regard to other origins in North and South America, is on-going by the sector association FEDIOL.