Jan 13, 2016Report: No safety concern for pesticide residues on U.S. food
The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has posted data from the 2014 Pesticide Data Program (PDP) Annual Summary, which confirms that overall pesticide chemical residues found on the foods tested are at levels below the tolerances established by the EPA and do not pose a safety concern.
The 2014 PDP Annual Summary shows that over 99 percent of the products sampled through PDP had residues below the EPA tolerances. Residues exceeding the tolerance were detected in 0.36 percent of the samples tested. The PDP pesticide residue results are reported to FDA and EPA through monthly reports. In instances where a PDP finding may pose a safety risk, FDA and EPA are immediately notified. EPA has determined the extremely low levels of those residues are not a food safety risk, and the presence of such residues does not pose a safety concern.
Each year, USDA and EPA work together to identify foods to be tested on a rotating basis. In 2014, surveys were conducted on a variety of foods including fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, oats, rice, infant formula, and salmon. AMS partners with cooperating state agencies to collect and analyze pesticide chemical residue levels on selected foods. The EPA uses data from PDP to enhance its programs for food safety and help evaluate dietary exposure to pesticides.
Since its inception, the PDP has tested 113 commodities including fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat and poultry, grains, fish, rice, specialty products, and water. The data are a valuable tool for consumers, food producers and processors, chemical manufacturers, environmental interest groups, and food safety organizations.
The 2014 Pesticide Data Program Annual Summary can be downloaded at www.ams.usda.gov/pdp. To obtain printed copies, email a request to the USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service, Science and Technology Program, Monitoring Programs Division.
For more information on EPA pesticide residue tolerances, visit the EPA website.