Pesticides are plant protecting products and products for combating parasites. They are used in agricultural cultivation or after the harvest as, among other things, insecticides, herbicides or fungicides to protect the crop and the harvested materials from parasites, weeds and fungal infestations and from decay in general.
The number of samples of baby food with measurable residues was low: in 91.8% of the samples, no measurable residues were found; residues were found in 8.2% of samples. For 135 samples (7.5%) the concentration of chemical residues exceeded the default maximum level for baby foods, although in most cases this was due to residues originating from sources other than pesticides such as copper, disinfectants, fertilisers and feed additives.
Pesticide residues were detected in 12.4% of samples of organic products (595 of the 4,792 samples analysed), but they were all within legal limits. So the percentage of organic products with detectable residues below the maximum level was significantly lower than conventionally produced products (45.3%). The legal limit was exceeded in 57 samples (1.2%).
The majority of samples of animal products (84.7%, or 7,751 out of 9,152 samples of animal products analysed) were free of measurable residues. The most frequently detected substances were persistent environmental pollutants, or compounds resulting from sources other than pesticide use.