The Food and Veterinary Office of the European Commission (EC) has published the report of the year 2000 pesticide residue monitoring programme. The report highlights the results of the analysis of pesticide residues in 45,000 samples of fruits, vegetables and cereals. The results on these tests provide conflicting messages. The good news is that 61% of the samples contained no detectable pesticide residues and that in a further 35% the levels found were below the maximum safety limits. However, in the remaining 4.5% of samples these limits were exceeded. Although this does not necessarily present a health risk to consumers, it points to the scope for further progress in reducing residue levels.