According to Directive 90/642/EEC, all European Member States are obliged to prepare a National Plan for Horticulture Products which shows how they will implement the monitoring for traces of pesticides in the coming year. The plan is implemented after approval by Brussels. The results from the previous year must also be reported to the European Commission.
The Dutch dairy industry continually monitors the purity and safety of milk and dairy products, taking account of a large number of risk factors. The Quality Programme for Agricultural Products (KAP) deals only with the residues and contaminants covered by the dairy industry’s monitoring programmes: organochlorine chemicals, PCBs and aflatoxin.
The big retail companies play an increasing role in meat production and are more often setting requirements as to the way in which meat is produced. The BSE problem, and other debates on questions such as the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in meat production, have put food safety high on the agenda as an on-going topic of discussion. The premise is that meat may not contain traces of growth promoters, veterinary drugs, pesticides or environmental contaminants in quantities that could damage consumer health.
In order to come to a harmonised use of processing factors for the estimation of dietary intakes of pesticide residues found in enforcement and monitoring programmes, and by producers, a list of processing factors has been put together for priority substances as defined by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) and the Dutch Productboard for Horticulture (Productschap Tuinbouw).
The Product Board Animal Feed has a number of monitoring programmes through which it keeps a finger on the pulse. By studying the results it is able to detect undesirable developments promptly and see how they are to be managed. The monitoring programme for chemical contaminants focuses on aflatoxin, cadmium, pesticides and Salmonella.
In the Netherlands the National Inspection Service for Livestock and Meat (Rijksdienst voor de keuring van Vee en Vlees, RVV) and the General Inspection Service (Algemene Inspectie Dienst, AID), acting on behalf of the government, monitor whether the national and international regulation in the area of agricultural chemicals is being observed. But the meat production sector itself is also increasingly active in this area. To be able to guarantee food safety, limits have been set for harmful substances that may end up in meat, either intentionally or unintentionally.