Dec 23, 2014
USDA releases 2013 pesticide data summary

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has posted data from the 2013 Pesticide Data Program (PDP) Annual Summary. The PDP summary confirms that overall pesticide chemical residues found on the foods tested are at levels below the tolerances established by EPA and do not pose a safety concern.

The 2013 PDP Annual Summary shows that more than 99 percent of the products sampled through PDP had residues below the EPA tolerances. Residues exceeding the tolerance were detected in 0.23 percent of the samples tested. The PDP pesticide residue results are reported to FDA and EPA monthly. In instances where a PDP finding is extraordinary and 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, according to AMS.

Each year, USDA and EPA work together to identify foods to be tested on a rotating basis. In 2013, surveys were conducted on a variety of foods including fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, infant formula, butter, salmon, groundwater and drinking water. AMS partners with cooperating state agencies to collect and analyze pesticide chemical residue levels on selected foods. EPA uses data from PDP to enhance its programs for food safety and help evaluate dietary exposure to pesticides, according to AMS.

Since its inception, PDP has tested 112 commodities, including fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat and poultry, grains, fish, rice, specialty products and water. In 2013, the program expanded to include samples of infant formula, raspberries and salmon. The data are a valuable tool for consumers, food producers and processors, chemical manufacturers, environmental interest groups and food safety organizations, according to AMS.

Printed copies of the 2013 summary can be obtained by emailing the AMS Science and Technology Program, Monitoring Programs Division. For more information on EPA pesticide residue tolerances, click here.




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