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Pesticide Residues in Japanese tea - government regulations, positive list system


I have always found it very frustrating that no one seems to know much about pesticide residue regulations (both as a buyer and a seller). Japanese producers have very little access to information for regulations outside Japan, and importers have little access within Japan.

I believe in honest, transparent business practices, so let's try to make things a little clearer. This post is a work in progress and I invite you to share your own expertise in the comments whether or not it relates to Japan or tea.

Positive List System

Japan follows a positive list approach like the EU and USA. Each country has their own list, and if not on the list, each country has their own default value. USA, Australia and Singapore have a zero tolerance for residue if not on their list. EU and Japan have a tolerance level of 0.01 mg/kg. New Zealand has a default value of 0.1 mg/kg. (0.01 mg/kg is a ppm, or parts per million).

Comparison: Japan vs USA

USA's positive list for tea includes 30 pesticides. Japan's includes 233 pesticides.

For the 30 on the USA list, some are higher some are lower for Japan.

Agricultural Chemical MRLs(ppm) Note (for japan) USA Difference USA - Japan
ACEQUINOCYL 40   40 0
ACETAMIPRID 30   50 20
AZOXYSTROBIN 10   20 10
BIFENTHRIN 30   30 0
BUPROFEZIN 30   20 -10
CARFENTRAZONE-ETHYL 0.1   0.1 0
CHLORANTRANILIPROLE 50   50 0
CLOTHIANIDIN 50   70 20
DICOFOL 3 limited to unfermented tea  50 47
DICOFOL 3 except unfermented tea  50 47
DINOTEFURAN 25   50 25
ETHIPROLE 10   30 20
ETOFENPROX 10   5 -5
ETOXAZOLE 15   15 0
FENPROPATHRIN 25   2 -23
FENPYROXIMATE 40   20 -20
GLYPHOSATE 1   1 0
PROPARGITE 5   10 5
PROPICONAZOLE 0.1   4 3.9
PYRIPROXYFEN 15   15 0
SPINOSAD 2   0.02 -1.98
SPIROMESIFEN 30   40 10
THIAMETHOXAM 20   20 0
TOLFENPYRAD 20   30 10

Sources

 


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