Abu Dhabi, June 5, 2020: Over 1,260 pesticide residue tests have been conducted in Abu Dhabi since the beginning of this year to detect any pesticide remnants in agricultural products including vegetables, fruits and fodder, the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC) announced on 5 June 2020.
The tests, which were done by the Central Testing Laboratory, aimed to ensure products compliance with the standard specifications and requirements drown up by the regulatory and supervisory authorities, maintain health and safety of consumers and improve food safety.
Eng. Abdulla Hassan Al Muaini, the Executive Director of Central Testing Laboratory, said to WAM: “The Central Testing Laboratory delivers many advanced testing services that can detect various pesticide residues in agricultural products and determine the extent of their conformity to the legally permissible limits in food commodities and animal feed, using the latest and most accurate global technologies,”.
“We are making the most of the latest testing technologies to support the Emirate’s regulatory authorities, ensure food safety and raise the level of food security and biosecurity as well as to meet the aspirations of our wise leadership, in line with the QCC strategy,” Al Muaini added.
He stressed that that the Central Lab can detect more than 437 pesticide remnants, thanks to being one of the most prominent pesticide residue testing laboratories in the UAE besides having the largest scope of testing for these residues in the country, especially in the vegetable and fruit sector.
“The QCC takes great interest in supporting Abu Dhabi’s regulatory bodies to help them achieve their strategies concerning the monitoring of pesticide remnants in products traded in the markets, and ensure that residues do not exceed the maximum permissible limit, which is the safe limit for consumers and is approved by local and international legislative bodies,” Al Muaini further said.
He highlighted that the lab has received more than 1,260 samples of vegetables, fruits and feed since the start of this year to test the levels of pesticide residues. The results showed that 85% of the samples conform to the specifications and requirements in force in the emirate.
“Once the results are out, we share them with the Abu Dhabi Agriculture & Food Safety Authority, which is responsible for enhancing food safety and preserving consumer health through developing and implementing plans, programs and activities that supports agriculture, food safety and food security,” the Executive Director of Central Testing Laboratory emphasized.
“The lab’s functions are not limited to the detection of pesticide residues in vegetable and fruit samples only, but rather extends to various food commodities such as dates, grains of all kinds, meat, fish, honey, baby food, etc. We are constantly expanding our scope of work to include more products and increase the number of pesticides that can be detected,” Al Muaini stated.
He made it clear that that the Central Testing Laboratory works hand in hand with its partners from the public and private sectors to provide accredited testing services in various fields. The testing services include food, fluids and water tests, radiation tests, cosmetics and perfumes tests, electrical equipment tests, construction, and soil, and agriculture tests, through approved reference methods to support regulators and decision makers.
He pointed out that the council has already signed cooperation agreements with private sector laboratories to outsource and provide testing services in different sectors.
Al Muaini stressed the importance of standardizing control procedures for foodstuffs, especially vegetables and fruits, across the UAE’s ports, and defining standards and testing methods.
He also underscored the importance of strengthening control over food products from the source, whether by visiting facilities or cooperating with laboratories in the country of origin while encouraging local production of vegetables and fruits in accordance with good agricultural practices.