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India to Benefit from EU Proposal to Raise Residue Limits on Rice Fungicide- 'Tricyclazole'

The European Union suggests raising the maximum residue level (MRL) for tricyclazole in rice from 0.01 mg/kg to 0.09 mg/kg after determining that the increased level poses no risk to consumers.

KJ Staff
Tricyclazole is a fungicide used to treat blast disease in rice
Tricyclazole is a fungicide used to treat blast disease in rice

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has proposed raising the level of tricyclazole in rice after concerns about permitting a higher limit were addressed sufficiently.

The European Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health is now expected to ratify the proposal in May. The decision should encourage Indian rice exporters, as the presence of fungicide residue has been a source of concern for shipments to the EU. However, India has requested that the MRL for the chemical be reduced to 1 mg/kg.

Tricyclazole is a fungicide used to treat blast disease in rice. Japanese scientists conducted tests on mice that resulted in decreased body weight gain as well as increased organ weight and others in the rodent's liver.

Corteva Agriscience had applied to Italy's competent national authority, which is the rapporteur Member State (RMS) of the EU, to set an import tolerance for the active substance tricyclazole in rice, according to EFSA. According to trade experts, Italy is one of the EU members who is dissatisfied with the EFSA regulations because it is a major producer of rice.

In accordance with EU regulations, the RMS created an evaluation report. On April 26, 2018, it was submitted to the European Commission and forwarded to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). "The RMS proposed setting the MRL for rice imported from Brazil at 0.09 mg/kg," it said.

As a result, the EFSA identified the evaluation gaps, and the RMS submitted a revised evaluation report on October 7, 2022. "Based on the risk assessment results, EFSA concluded that the short-term and long-term consumption of residues resulting from the reported agricultural practise of tricyclazole is unlikely to pose a risk to consumer health," the authority stated.

Tricyclazole "is stable," according to hydrolysis studies conducted to investigate the effect of processing on its nature. "Because the proposed use of tricyclazole is on imported crops, residue investigations in rotational crops are not required," EFSA stated.

Rice bran, a byproduct of (husked) rice, may be used for feed purposes, and a potential carry-over into animal food was assessed. For all relevant animal species, the measured livestock dietary burden did not exceed the trigger value of 0.1 mg/kg dry matter (DM).

"Because the relative contribution of tricyclazole residues from rice hulls to total livestock exposure was insignificant, animal commodities were not further considered in this application," according to EFSA. The EFSA concluded that "the recommended use of tricyclazole on rice will not lead in a consumer exposure exceeding the toxicological reference values so it is unlikely to pose a risk to consumers' health".

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