MAXIMUM RESIDUE LIMITS (MRLS)
An MRL is the maximum admissible concentration of a pesticide in or on a food. In the United States, these allowable residues are called tolerances. Only foods that meet MRLs may be placed on the market. As part of the pesticide registration process, EPA sets the MRLs (aka tolerances) for foods in the United States. However, MRLs are not well harmonized (or standardized) around the globe. Customers in key export markets expect any residues present on produce, including almonds, to meet the MRLs set in the respective importing country.
The Almond Board of California works to try to reduce the number of MRL discrepancies in key export markets by providing data and background information to USDA, EPA, and individual countries and the Codex Alimentarius process when needed. Codex sets international food safety and quality standards used by many countries. In addition, ABC works with registrants to ensure they understand how exports are key to almond growers, and thus why working to establish international MRLs is critical to the success of the almond industry.
The Global MRL Database is a free service to U.S. residents that allows users to search by commodity, compound and market.