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Japanese Newly Revised MRLs for Pesticides and Veterinary Drugs in Food [Historical Resources Included]

In Japan, MHLW formulates the maximum residue limits for all pesticides, feed additives, and veterinary drugs in food products to avoid harming human health. Inspection of imported food for pesticide residues will be carried out at the quarantine station. According to the Food Sanitation Act, the sale and import of food with exceeding pesticide residues shall be prohibited.

Editor's Note: This article summarizes the changes in Japanese pesticides and veterinary drugs residues, as per the latest developments. Previous contents can be seen at the bottom of the article.

On October 26, 2022, Japan MHLW issued the Amendment No.138 to revise maximum residue limits (MRLs) for 11 pesticides and veterinary drugs. The amendment came into effect upon its publication on October 26. However, provisions on the MRLs for Afidopyropen, Cyantraniliprole, Cyfluthrin, Tetraniliprole, Picoxystrobin and Flufenoxuron in some foods have a one-year transition period. 

11 Pesticides and Veterinary Drugs

Pesticide and veterinary drug




Revising the MRLs in 28 kinds of foods, such as milk, spice, wheat, etc.,

MHLW increased the residue limit for Afidopyropen in most foods, especially Komatsuna (from 0.01ppm to 5ppm). However, the MRL in milk has become stricter, from the original 0.01ppm to 0.001ppm.


Revising the MRLs in 21 kinds of foods, such as strawberry, mango, pig, etc.,

In particular, the limit for Cyantraniliprole in Cryptotaenia japonica was greatly increased from 0.01ppm to 20 ppm, 20,000 times as much as that of before.


Revising the MRLs in 164 kinds of foods, such as orange, melon, milk, etc.,

Only 15 foods have Cyfluthrin maximum levels lowered.


Revising the MRLs in 47 kinds of foods, such as tea, beef, peach, etc.,

The limit for Tetraniliprole in Spinach had extremely increasing from 0.01ppm to 30ppm.


Revising the MRLs in  10 kinds of food, such as Dioscorea japonica, Cabbage, Allium tuberosum, eyc.,



Revising the MRLs in  50 kinds of food, such as egg, apple, celery, etc.,

Enterprises shall pay attention to the “tree onion”, in which the MRL for Flufenoxuron must not exceed 0.01 ppm, even 1000 times than the previous.


Revising the MRLs in  12 kinds of foods, such as milk, fat, muscle, etc.,



Revising edible parts of cattle

The MRL for Lubabegron in edible parts of cattle shall not over 0.2 ppm.

Feel free to contact ChemLinked if you need translation service for the complete limit changes.

Notably, Ampicillin, Bacitracin and Phenoxymethylpenicillin are regulated as antibiotics. Only the foods listed in the table are allowed to have their specified residue.


35 kinds of food including milk, honey and fish, etc.


28 kinds of food including milk, eggs and edible parts of cows, etc.


5 kinds of food including fat/muscles, and edible parts of pigs, etc.

In addition, the amendment added "abscisic acid" as an exempted substance. From the results of various toxicity tests, no problematic toxicity findings were observed due to exposure to abscisic acid (ABA for short) via food. ABA is a plant hormone distributed in plants and has been widely used. Therefore, Japanese Food Safety Commission (JFSC) believed that abscisic acid, as a pesticide, would not harm human health as long as it was used normally follow the available methods of use.

Reference link

[1] MHLW amendment 1026

Click on the date to view historical content.

August 30, 2022
August 10, 2022
May 20, 2022
March 17, 2022
February 25, 2022
December 17, 2021
October 19, 2021
August 31, 2021
June 25, 2021
May 27, 2021
May 13, 2021
March 26, 2021
February 3, 2021

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