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US EPA Establishes Tolerances for Metalaxyl in Black Pepper

Posted by SGS Digicomply Editorial Team on 10/25/21 9:30 AM

On September 24, 2021, the US EPA established tolerances for metalaxyl in black pepper. Objections and requests for hearing must be received on or before November 23, 2021.

Metalaxyl (CAS Number 57837-19-1) is a systemic fungicide used to control plant diseases caused by Oomycetes or water-mold fungi. It is used on many food and feed crops, and on non-food, residential and greenhouse crops such as tobacco, ornamental plants, trees, shrubs and vines, and lawns. Metalaxyl generally is of low acute toxicity but is a moderate eye irritant.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the filing of a pesticide petition by American Spice Trade Association. The petition requests that 40 CFR 180.408 be amended by establishing tolerances for residues of the fungicide metalaxyl in or on black pepper at 1 part per million (ppm). The EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards and has considered the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) for metalaxyl in or on black pepper by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, but it has not established the MRL. The EPA may establish a tolerance different from a Codex MRL. In making its decision the EPA considers the validity, completeness, and reliability of the available data as well as other factors and if the metalaxyl tolerance is safe it follows the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).
As a result, the EPA is establishing the tolerance at 0.3 ppm rather than at the petitioned for tolerance level of 1.0 ppm. Its analysis of the monitoring data submitted to support the tolerance level concludes that 0.3 ppm is sufficient to cover residues in imported black pepper.
The has EPA published the metalaxyl tolerance in or on black pepper, as specified in Table 1.

Table 1

Commodity Tolerance limits (ppm)

Pepper, black1


1There are no US registrations for this commodity.

This regulation is effective September 24, 2021. Objections and requests for hearing must be received on or before November 23, 2021 and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178.

What do these changes mean?

This update has the potential to affect agriculture producers, food manufacturers, and pesticide manufacturers. Any imported foods destined for the United States must not be found to contain metalaxyl at levels exceeding the tolerance limits. To ensure compliance with food safety regulations, food producers should seek professional advice.
SGS is committed to keeping you informed of regulation news and developments. Leveraging our global network of laboratories and food experts, SGS provides a comprehensive range of food safety and quality solutions including analytical tests, audits, certifications, inspections, and technical support. We continually invest in our testing, capability, and state-of-the art technology to help you reduce risk, and to improve food safety and quality. For more information, please visit our website:

For enquiries, please contact:

Naovarat Dachprasat
R&D Chemist, Food Technical Support Center
T: +66 2683 0541 ext. 2168, 2169

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Tags: maximum residue limits (mrls), metalaxyl

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