Date: Feb 25, 2014
Category:
99% Below EPA Tolerances for Pesticide Residues

The Pesticide Data Program’s (PDP) 22nd Annual Summary for 2012 was released Friday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).  The program collects data on pesticide residues in food. According to the report summary, “Over 99 percent of the products sampled through the PDP had residues below the EPA tolerances. Ultimately, if EPA determines a pesticide is not safe for our families, it is removed from the market. This system of checks and balances provides Americans with the safest food supply in the world.”

Out of 11,893 samples of food and water, residues were detected in 0.53 percent (63 samples), in amounts that did not endanger the health of consumers. The 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 which foods will be tested on a rotating basis. In 2012, surveys were conducted on a variety of foods including fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, wheat, butter, and water.

The Alliance for Food and Farming, of which WG is a member, issued this press release yesterday and its website also has a pesticide residue calculator where consumers can find out the highest number of servings of various fruits and vegetables that individuals could eat and still not experience any effect from the minute amounts of residues that may be present. For example, a child could eat 1508 servings of strawberries without any effect even if the berries have the highest pesticide residue recorded for strawberries by the U.S.D.A.

To access the 2012 PDP Report, get an overview of the program, read the press release and Q&A, please click here.

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