USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recently published the 2015 Pesticide Data Program (PDP) Annual Summary, which shows more than 99% of samples tested had pesticide residues well below the residue levels established by the EPA and 15% had no detectable residue.
Residues exceeding the tolerance were detected in 0.53% of the samples tested. EPA uses PDP data to conduct dietary risk assessments and to ensure that any pesticide residues in foods remain at safe levels and adverse health effects are unlikely.
The pesticide data USDA publishes each year provide regulators, farmers, processors, manufacturers, consumers and scientists with important insights into the actual levels of pesticide residues found on widely consumed foods. The PDP pesticide residue results are reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and EPA through monthly reports. FDA and EPA are immediately notified if a PDP finding would pose a safety risk.
“The Pesticide Data Program uses rigorous sampling and advanced methods to test a wide variety of domestic and imported foods, helping ensure that the U.S. food supply is one of the safest in the world,” said Dr. Ruihong Guo, Deputy Administrator of the AMS Science and Technology Program. “The new 2015 report includes data from over 10,000 samples, giving consumers’ confidence that the products they buy for their families are safe and wholesome.”
Each year, USDA and EPA work together to identify foods to be tested on a rotating basis. In 2015, surveys were conducted on fresh and processed foods including fruits and vegetables as well as peanut butter. AMS partners with cooperating state agencies to collect and analyze pesticide residue levels on selected foods. For over 25 years, the PDP has tested a variety of commodities including fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat and poultry, grains, fish, rice, specialty products, and water.