In the EU significantly fewer pesticide residues are found in organic food than in conventional products. This information comes from a report by the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa) for 2015. The report states that pesticides were found in about 47 percent of conventional food samples in the EU, Norway and Iceland. In the case of organic products the figure was only 14 percent.
According to a report in the German daily taz , the amounts were minimal. Only 0.7 percent of organic samples and 2.9 percent of the conventional samples exceeded the legally permissible maximum. A total of 85,000 products were examined, of which 5,300 were organic. In reply to an enquiry by taz, Efsa explained that only 3 percent of organic samples contained more than one pesticide. It said this proportion is well below the average for all food products (28 percent).
There is an especially big difference between organic and conventional in the case of nuts and fruit: pesticides were detected in 14 percent of the organic samples and 67 percent of the conventional samples.
The Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz - Germany's consumer protection agency - had already published corresponding figures for Germany at the beginning of April. Whereas 65 percent of organic products in Germany are free from pesticides, the figure in the case of conventional products is only just below 37 percent.