How to deal with unauthorised pesticide substances in the organic value chain? A German project (IT)


Dealing with findings of unauthorised pesticides along the organic value chain is a major challenge for the industry. Due to the inconsistent interpretation of the EU Organic Regulation and the lack of clear guidelines by the Commission, the procedures within the EU are very heterogeneous.

The project "PSM-Wirkstofffunde", funded by the Federal Programme for Organic Farming and Other Forms of Sustainable Agriculture (BÖLN), will investigate the topic of residues/contamination of unauthorised pesticides in the organic value chain. Its implementation started on 1 February 2020 in cooperation with the Bund ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft (BÖLW), Büro Lebensmittelkunde & Qualität (BL-Q) and the Gesellschaft für Resource Protection Ltd (GfRS). Problem areas along the organic value chain will be analysed in detail, information and knowledge gaps identified and recommendation for action will be derived.

The following research priorities are set:

  • Identification of pesticides with a high contamination potential for the organic value chain
  • Identification of potential contamination pathways
  • Analysis of data on pesticide applications and contamination of non-target regions (environmental monitoring)
  • Identification of data required for the proper evaluation of unauthorized pesticide residues along the organic value chain
  • Analysis of strengths and weaknesses of existing residue databases
  • Status quo analysis of the current handling of pesticide residues at company level and as part of the organic control
  • Evaluation of current procedures in various EU and EFTA countries and recommendation for action.


The aim of the project is to improve the information basis and methods for the proper evaluation of findings of unauthorised pesticides. The implementation of the project is based on results from a FiBL/OPTA project "Improving the handling of residue cases in organic production". Through close exchange with institutions such as the IFOAM EU Group, OPTA (Organic Processing and Trade Association) and EOCC (European Organic Certifiers Council), the project also aims to contribute to a harmonised approach at the European level.

For more information, contact Marlene Ariana Milan, FIBL

A detaled description of the project can be downloaded HERE 

Source: FIBL