Most Fresh California Produce Has Little/No Detectable Pesticides

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has announced that once again, the majority of produce it tested annually had little or no detectable pesticide residues and posed no health risk to the public. Fully 95% of all California-grown produce, sampled by DPR in 2013, was in compliance with the allowable limits.

“This is a vivid example that California fresh produce is among the safest in the world, when it comes to pesticide exposure,” said DPR director Brian R. Leahy. “DPR’s scientifically robust monitoring program is an indication that a strong pesticide regulatory program and dedicated growers can deliver produce that consumers can have confidence in.”

DPR tested 3,483 samples of different fruits and vegetables sold in farmers markets, wholesale and retail outlets, and distribution centers statewide. More than 155 different fruits and vegetables were sampled to reflect the dietary needs of California’s diverse population.

Of all 3,483 samples collected in 2013:

■ 43.53% of the samples had no pesticide residues detected.
■ 51.51% of the samples had residues that were within the legal tolerance levels.
■ 3.99% of the samples had illegal residues of pesticides not approved for use on the commodities tested.
■ 0.98% of the samples had illegal pesticide residues in excess of established tolerances. A produce item with an illegal residue level does not necessarily indicate a health hazard.

Each piece of fruit or vegetable may legally contain trace amounts of one or more pesticides. The amount and type of pesticide (known as a tolerance), is limited by EPA. DPR’s Residue Monitoring Program staff carries out random inspections to verify that these limits are not exceeded.

The produce is tested in laboratories using state-of-the-art equipment operated by California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). In 2013, these scientists frequently detected illegal pesticide residues on produce including:

■ Cactus Pads from Mexico
■ Ginger from China
■ Snow Peas from Guatemala
■ Spinach from the U.S.

Most of the 2013 illegal pesticide residues were found in produce imported from other countries and contained very low levels (a fraction of a part per million). The majority of the time they did not pose a health risk.

One exception occurred in 2013 when DPR discovered Cactus pads, imported from Mexico, that were tainted with an organophosphate-based pesticide. This had the potential to sicken people. DPR worked with the California Dept. of Public Health to issue an alert to consumers in February 2014. DPR also worked diligently to remove the entire product it from store shelves and distribution centers. In addition, DPR asked FDA to inspect produce at the borders and points of entry to stop shipments into California.

California has been analyzing produce for pesticide residues since 1926 and has developed the most extensive pesticide residue testing program of its kind in the nation. Here is the 2013 pesticide residue monitoring data as well as previous years.

Source: California Department of Pesticide Regulation

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

Crop Protection Stories

Insect ControlBagrada Bug Continues To Spread In California’s Brassica Crops
October 15, 2014
The pest is expected to be a problem through December. Read More
CitrusScientists Uproot Common “Superweed” Myths
October 15, 2014
A new fact sheet is available that explores the truth behind two fallacies.   Read More
BerriesOnline Strawberry Monitoring System Set To Expand Services
October 8, 2014
After success in Florida, South Carolina growers will soon have access to unique crop protection invention. Read More
Insect ControlAphid Outbreak Leads To “Staggering” Losses
October 3, 2014
In California, Salinas and Gonzales were hit hard by the foxglove aphid, leaving some lettuce fields unmarketable. Read More
Insect ControlBagrada Bug And Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Posing Threat To Western Growers
October 1, 2014
Two species of stink bugs are now posing a serious threat to agricultural production in the Western U.S.: the brown Read More
Insect ControlMore Than 600,000 Acres Removed From Golden Nematode Regulation In New York
October 1, 2014
The potato acreage was taken off the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s list; under 6,000 acres in New York are still considered to be infested. Read More
Crop ProtectionTool Helps Track Insects On The Move At Night
October 1, 2014
Signals collected by the National Weather Service’s Doppler radar network may serve as an early warning system to track corn earworm, a major pest in sweet corn. Read More

The Latest

CitrusEPA Launches Program To Reduce Pesticide Drift
October 22, 2014
The voluntary star-rating program aims to protect people, wildlife and the environment. Read More
Crop ProtectionTool Helps Track Insects On The Move At Night
October 1, 2014
Signals collected by the National Weather Service’s Doppler radar network may serve as an early warning system to track corn earworm, a major pest in sweet corn. Read More
Crop ProtectionCalifornia To Ban Some Pesticides In San Joaquin Valley
September 24, 2014
Chemistries with high Volatile Organic Compounds are used on pistachios, almonds, walnuts, grapes, and citrus crops. Read More
Crop ProtectionBagrada Bug On The Move In California
September 16, 2014
Find out more on management tactics and what counties are impacted by this invasive pest. Read More
Crop ProtectionNimitz Nematicide Receives EPA Approval
September 12, 2014
New product from Adama has a unique mode of action and is approved for use on a variety of vegetables. Read More
Crop ProtectionGiant Snail Threat Spreading In South Florida
September 10, 2014
Dangerous invasive pests found well outside Miami-area hot zone. Read More
Crop ProtectionStockton’s Timorex Gold Biofungicide Receives EPA Reg…
September 9, 2014
This broad spectrum fungicide can be used in rotation or in a tank mix. Read More
CitrusFMC Acquires Cheminova
September 9, 2014
Transaction expected to close in early 2015. Read More
Crop ProtectionBayer Opens Worldwide Biologics R&D Center In Calif…
September 5, 2014
$80 million facility will also be used to develop vegetable seed. Read More
Crop ProtectionHow To Control Corn Earworm, European Corn Borer In Swe…
September 5, 2014
Monitor traps, plant varieties with good husk cover, and rotate modes of action to avoid resistance. Read More
Crop ProtectionMost Fresh California Produce Has Little/No Detectable …
September 4, 2014
State Department of Pesticide Regulation finds that 95% of produce was in compliance. Read More
Crop ProtectionGetting To The Root Of Good Soil Health Requires Some D…
August 21, 2014
Dave Gilliam of Horticultural Alliance says more citrus growers are paying attention to what's happening below the ground in their groves. Read More
Crop ProtectionBioConsortia Inc. Bolsters Executive Team
August 18, 2014
Industry veterans Christina Huben and Dr. Susan Turner bring experience to plant biotechnology firm. Read More
Crop ProtectionCover Crop Solutions Offers New Three-Way Cover Crop Mi…
August 13, 2014
A fast-growing cover crop mix needs 45 to 60 days of growth in warm conditions. Read More
Crop ProtectionBiopesticides Vs. Traditional Agrochemicals
August 4, 2014
To effectively control pests, understand how the products work and know the biology of insect pests. Read More
Crop ProtectionFrench Crop Protection Firm Acquires Fine Holdings Ltd.
August 4, 2014
De Sangosse group seeks to bolster its business with purchase of plant growth regulator specialist. Read More
CEU SeriesCEU Series: Gain A Deeper Understanding Of Fertilizers
August 1, 2014
It's never too late to grow your knowledge of plant nutrients. Read More
BerriesNew Study Finds Simple Solution To Monitoring Spotted W…
July 31, 2014
UF/IFAS researchers are using a mixture of yeast, sugar, and water to lure, trap major berry pest. Read More