Produce monitoring programs
Victoria has a well deserved reputation for high quality, clean and healthy food production. Consumers associate our agricultural produce as being amongst the best in the world.
As part of Government and industry efforts to safeguard this reputation, The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) undertakes regular monitoring of fresh Victorian grown fruit and vegetables for chemical residues and other contaminants. The results from many years of residue monitoring demonstrate to consumers that Victorian produce is clean.
Testing fresh produce for chemical residues
Agricultural chemical residue testing is a method used by DEDJTR to verify whether agricultural chemicals are being used according to good agricultural practice (GAP) and that produce is free from unacceptable agricultural chemical residues and heavy metal contaminants.
When agricultural chemicals are used correctly, any residues detected in produce sampled should be under the MRL. DEDJTR also conducts larger random testing programs for export orientated horticultural industries.
Results consistently show that Victorian produce is of a high quality with respect to residues and contaminants.
National residue survey
The National Residue Survey (NRS) was established in 1961 by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) to measure pesticide residues in meat exports.
Selected Australian animal and plant products are tested for residues of agricultural and veterinary chemicals and environmental contaminants on behalf of participating industries. NRS assists participating industries to access key export and domestic markets by underpinning industry quality assurance programs.
DEPI is responsible for investigating any Victorian residue violations detected through the NRS Plant Program, which includes ten grain commodities and five horticultural products.
Further information on the NRS, including annual reports can be accessed from DAFF.
Tracing chemical use
DEPI has developed a strategy of testing for chemical residues and tracing commodities detected with unacceptable residues back to the property of origin.
The aim of this traceback strategy is to determine how the unacceptable residue occurred on the property, identify whether any systemic issues relating to chemical use have led to the unacceptable residue, and to put processes in place to prevent a recurrence in the future.