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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2012
SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2012 41 The National Residue Survey (NRS) is a vital part of the Australian system for managing the risk of chemical residues and environmental contaminants in Australian food products. NRS supports Australia's food industry and primary producers by facilitating access to key export markets and confirming Australia's status as a producer of clean food. NRS programs encourage good agricultural practices, help to identify potential problems and indicate where follow-up action is needed. The NRS was established by the Australian Government in the early 1960s following concerns about pesticide residues in exported meat. Since then, the NRS has expanded to test other animal, grain, horticulture and fish products for residues of pesticides and veterinary medicines, as well as for other contaminants. The NRS became an industry-funded activity in 1992 and relevant legislation was established. The core work of the NRS is to facilitate the testing of animal and plant products for pesticide and veterinary medicine residues, and environmental contaminants. Product testing is done through either random or specifically designed sampling protocols. Other programs within the NRS, such as laboratory evaluation and business activities, support the core work of residue testing. Residue monitoring aims to: provide an estimate of the occurrence of • residues in products (using systems based on sampling and statistical probability) confirm (or otherwise) that residues in • products are below set limits alert responsible government authorities • and industry if, and when, limits are exceeded, so that corrective action can be taken. Although legislation does not require any industries to participate in NRS programs, sheepmeat is one of a number of commodities that participate so they can meet requirements for market access or export certification, or to satisfy obligations under Australian Standards for domestic markets. information management The NRS holds an extensive database of residue data for a range of commodities. Participating industries and governments can access information from the database to gain or maintain market access, or to set and review standards. Data release is carefully managed under the 'Release of Information' requirements of the National Residue Survey Administration Act 1992 (the Act) to ensure confidentiality and privacy. Information released to a relevant authority or appropriate person is used only for the purpose of monitoring, traceback, or regulation of residues and contaminants. The results of NRS residue monitoring projects are provided to participating industries. Information from NRS projects that identifies particular people or their property is released only to government authorities (i.e. Australian, state or territory government authorities responsible for the monitoring or regulation of agricultural and veterinary chemical residues and contaminants), or to individuals approved by the department as being appropriate persons to be granted access to the information under paragraph 11(2) (b) of the Admin Act. More information can be found at http://www.daff.gov.au/agriculture- food/nrs The National Residue Survey helps producers meet requirements for market access, export certifcation or the obligations under Australian Standards for the domestic market. The National Residue Survey