BASF supplies products, technologies and services to support sustainable farming by enabling farmers to make an adequate income, protect the land and produce abundant, healthy and affordable food.
Crop protection products for plants are analogous to medicines for human health. They protect crops before and/or after harvest from diseases, pests and weeds and are designed to break down after they have fulfilled this purpose. All BASF Crop Protection products have been tested for many years and approved by independent regulatory authorities before their introduction to the market.
Residues are very small amounts of crop protection products that can potentially remain in or on the crop. Authorization of a crop protection product can only be granted if the remaining residues are safe for all consumers. Existing science-based residue standards, as defined by government authorities, fully secure food safety and quality.
Where residues are allowed to occur, trading standards, known as Maximum Residue Levels (MRL), are in place. These are rigorously regulated and monitored by independent authorities. MRLs provide a check that products have been used as directed; however, they are not safety limits. As such, while residues above the MRL are unacceptable from a trading perspective, they do not automatically pose a risk to the consumers.
BASF works closely with farmers, retailers, authorities, advisors and other stakeholders to ensure that crop protection products are used responsibly and according to instructions.
BASF takes consumer concerns very seriously, and is committed to optimizing its crop protection products on an ongoing basis to ensure that consumers are provided with safe, high quality food.
Arbitrary residue standards, set by retailers, do not increase food safety. They exist in parallel with legal requirements, undermine trust in the regulatory authorities and legal standards, and can also hinder trade and efficient agricultural production.