Procedures for pesticide findings

As soon as the analysis results are available, all concerned wholesalers and importers are informed. Pesticide detection is ranked in five categories, of which the first four concern active agents that are not allowed by the EU-organic-Regulation:

1. No pesticides detectable

2. Traces

(The lab measurement, minus an expanded measurement uncertainty of 50%, is below the BNN benchmark/orientation value of 0,01 mg/kg)

3. Values superior to the BNN benchmark/orientation value

(The lab measurement, minus an expanded measurement uncertainty of 50%, is superior to the BNN benchmark of 0,01 mg/kg)

4. Transgression of the maximum residue level

(The lab measurement, minus an expanded measurement uncertainty of 50%, is superior to the maximum residue level)

5. Accepted quantities of plant protection products allowed in organic agriculture (Annex II).

Pesticide findings in category 3 and 4

When the pesticide findings are classified in the categories 3 and 4, a counter-analysis by a second lab is arranged in order to exclude lab failures (even when lab failures, and especially false positives, are extremely rare).
All participating companies are immediately informed about the residue finding and this by naming the producer and his suppliers. The participating wholesalers can inform the retailers.

If there is any reason to suspect that the produce is not conforming to the EU-organic-Regulation and can therefore not be traded as “organic” (bio), the product will not be marketed any more by the participants. The project participant informs his suppliers and requests clarification on the origins of the contamination. In parallel he advises the responsible control bodies of the organic agriculture.   
Should the residue be superior to the EU Maximum Residue Levels category 4 (as defined in EG 396/2005 and annexes), the produce has to be blocked from market access immediately. The legally prescribed measures have to become active. The members of the BNN e.V. are informed about non-conforming produce at the same time as the participants.

Supplementary control of ordered produce

In case further produce from the same producer or packer has already been disposed and shipped at the time of the lab result, a neutral person designated by the concerned importer or wholesaler will take a new sample. There are two possible outcomes, A and B:

Case A – no pesticide finding:
If no pesticide can be detected the produce is unencumbered and can be traded. The results of the new sample will promptly be communicated to the BNN monitoring.

Case B – pesticide finding:
If a pesticide is detected and there is a suspicion of non-conformity with the EU-Regulation, the produce has to be blocked immediately by the party that ordered the test. The participant with whom the sample has been taken informs his suppliers and researches where the contamination is originating from.

Abandonment of new orders

A product that has been detected to contain pesticides is not ordered any more with that supplier by the monitoring participants, as long as there is a probable cause of suspicion that the produce does not fulfil the EU-Organic-Regulation. Other products from the supplier or batches/containers from the exporter are tested. The coordinating office disseminates the results to all participants.