Abu Dhabi-UAE: 27 December, 2017 – Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC), the entity responsible for developing quality infrastructure in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, announced the start of the second phase of implementation of the Abu Dhabi Specification for Pesticide Management as part of the ongoing Pesticide Management Project. The specification stipulates the maximum permitted levels for pesticide residues in agricultural and food products.
Executed in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), the second phase involves conducting a research study to determine pesticide residue levels in the five most consumed types of produce in Abu Dhabi – dates, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and marrow. The study – the first of its kind in the UAE – will help QCC understand the patterns of pesticide residue intake in the emirate. The findings will provide the Council with an accurate overview of the most common pesticides used in the local market and the concentration of their residues in the targeted crops.
Sultan Al Mehairi, Director of Information Service and Engagement at QCC, said: 'The Pesticide Management Project is part of QCC's ongoing efforts to adopt the most advanced international best practices in pesticide management in the emirate of Abu Dhabi with the aim of enhancing consumer trust in agricultural and food products. The project aligns with the Council's mandate to ensure the safety and conformity of all products and services in the local market.”
Summing up the achievements of the project to date, he added: “Earlier, we issued the Abu Dhabi Technical Report on Pesticide Management based on an analytical study of pesticide residues. This led to several recommendations to improve the existing pesticide management practices, including adopting an integrated pesticide management system in the emirate. The report was endorsed by all concerned authorities. As an enabler of quality infrastructure in Abu Dhabi, QCC worked with the relevant entities to help them implement the recommendations in line with their individual mandates. Another collaborative effort resulted in establishing a conformity scheme for workers carrying out pest control.”
Highlighting the health benefits of the Pesticide Management Project, launched at the request of the Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) in 2014, Al Mehairi said: “The project helps protect public safety through reducing the risks associated with inappropriate use of pesticides, especially in pest control. Economic benefits include cutting down on the costs of treatment of pesticide-related illnesses and injuries.'
He also thanked HAAD, EAD, Abu Dhabi Farmers' Services Centre (ADFSC), ADFCA, The Center of Waste Management – Abu Dhabi (Tadweer) and United Arab Emirates University for their collaboration in developing technical documents related to the project.
In 2017, the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) endorsed the technical regulation on maximum limits of pesticide residues permitted in agricultural and food products. Incorporating the latest international standards in pesticide management, the document was formulated by a technical team comprising representatives of relevant entities in collaboration with ESMA.
Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council was established in 2009 to raise the quality of the emirate's exports and locally traded products while protecting the interests of consumers and supporting the UAE's competitive economy. QCC empowers regulators to implement product safety, legal metrology and conformity schemes. The Council also sets guidelines and benchmarks to verify that products manufactured and traded in Abu Dhabi conform to the highest quality standards.