Summary: The European Parliament is anxious to ensure the adoption of the European Commission's proposal to set a 0.01 mg/ kg limit on pesticide residues in baby foods, before agreeing to abandon its own 1997 amendment pressing for a total ban on such residues in baby foods. It is therefore awaiting the Opinion of the EU's Standing Committee on Foodstuffs before proceeding further with Council/Commission/Parliament conciliation. This procedure should be completed under the German Presidency over the first half of 1999, the deadline set by the EU executive for pushing through a draft Directive on this very delicate issue.

Discussions aimed at finding an agreement between the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament (co-decision procedure) on limiting pesticide residues in dietary baby foods have long faltered on an amendment approved by the Parliament in second reading on December 18, 1997. Considering the proposal for a Council Directive amending Directive 89/398/EC (harmonising legislation on foods destined for specific dietary uses), Parliament demanded that baby foods be totally free of pesticide residues (zero tolerance threshold). The Parliament's amendment has also been rejected by the European Commission, which...

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