Foods intended for infants and young children

Pesticide residues in children's foods, and their maximum levels are provided for in Decree 1215/2007 of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Pesticide residues in infant formulae and follow-on formulae, and their maximum levels are provided for in Decree 1216/2007 of the Ministry of Trade and Industry until the application of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/127 starts.

Foods intended for infants and young children may not contain pesticides which are not authorised for use in agricultural products intended for the production of children's foods (Annex I to Decree 1215/2017), and they may not contain residues of authorised plant protection products in amounts exceeding the maximum residue level (MRL).

Limits set for children's foods are stricter than limits of other foods

The MRLs set for foods intended for infants and young children are lower than the MRLs of other foods, based on the precautionary principle. Baby foods, infant formulae and follow-on formulae shall not contain residues of individual pesticides at levels exceeding a limit of 0.01 mg/kg of the product as proposed ready for consumption or reconstituted according to the instructions of the manufacturer. It should be noted that for some pesticides or metabolites of pesticides even lower maximum residue levels have been set in baby foods, infant formulae and follow-on formulae (Annex II to Decree 1215/2007 and Annex IX to Decree 1216/2007).

A low residue level can be achieved through careful selection of raw materials. Operators who manufacture or import children's foods or have them manufactured shall pay special attention to in-house control with respect to e.g. raw materials. The compliance of the products can be verified through e.g. certificates, analyses or audits of contractual farmers. Foods intended for infants and young children are covered by normal regulatory control, i.e., food control authorities control the effectiveness and adequacy of the operators' in-house control. Children's foods are also included in the annual control programme of plant protection products, which is coordinated by the EU. Residues of plant protection products are very rarely found in children's foods.


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RELATED LINKS

  • Decree 1215/2007 of the Ministry of Trade and Industry on pesticide residues in children's foods (in Finnish). This Decree enforces Commission Directive 2006/125/EC on processed cereal-based foods and baby foods for infants and young children
  • Decree 1216/2007 of the Ministry of Trade and Industry on infant formulae and
    follow on formulae (in Finnish). This Decree enforces Commission Directive 2006/141/EC on
    infant formulae and follow-on formulae and amending Directive 1999/21/EC
  • Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/127 supplementing Regulation (EU) No 609/2013 of
    the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the specific
    compositional and information requirements for infant formula and follow-on
    formula and as regards requirements on information relating to infant and young
    child feeding