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European Union Increases MRL for Glyphosate in Lentil to 10 PPM

June 25, 2012, - Effective June 14, 2012, the European Union (EU) has revised its maximum residue limit (MRL) for glyphosate in lentil to 10 parts per million (PPM), welcome news for Canadian lentils growers who plan to use glyphosate as a pre-harvest treatment this growing season. (As a reference, the United States' MRL for glyphosate in lentil is 8 PPM.)

The revised MRL comes more than a year after shipments of lentils to the EU were found to contain glyphosate levels higher than 0.1 PPM (the EU's former MRL), disrupting export shipments to this market valued at $110 million per year. Since then, Pulse Canada has led the Canadian efforts and worked closely with the international pulse industry, including the U.S.A. Dry Pea and Lentil Council, the international pulse industry federation CICILS-IPTIC, Monsanto, the Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA), and COCERAL -- in moving an application for a revised MRL through the EU regulatory process.

The achievement of the revised EU MRL is a major success for the Canadian pulse industry, says Morgan Nunweiler, Chair of the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) Board. "Primarily this is great news for lentil growers in Canada, as it will greatly reduce market access risk for their crops and will also provide them with more options for crop protection products this year," he says.

"On a broader level, this is a positive example of the power of working together with national and international partners to overcome market access problems," says Carl Potts, Executive Director of SPG. "However, we continue to encourage growers to consult with pulse buyers to ensure the use of glyphosate or other pre-harvest crop protection products will not impede marketability of pulse crops and to always carefully follow label directions."

Pulse Canada is also working to establish an MRL for glyphosate in lentil at Codex Alimentarius (the internationally recognized code of standards for food safety), which many pulse-importing countries refer to for import requirements when they do not have their own standards. It is expected that Codex will have an MRL for lentil in July 2012.

Growers are advised to always be careful to ensure they are complying with Canadian laws for selling lentils. The Canadian MRL for selling lentils within Canada is 4 PPM and growers should always follow label directions regarding rates and timing.


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