Food Safety Magazine

News | December 21, 2018

U.S. Food Supply is Among the Safest in the World, Says USDA

By USDA AMS

U.S. Food Supply is Among the Safest in the World, Says USDA

Source: USDA Agricultural Marketing Service

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently published the 2017 Pesticide Data Program (PDP) Annual Summary. The Summary shows more than 99 percent of the samples tested had pesticide residues well below benchmark levels established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Each year, USDA and EPA work together to identify foods to be tested on a rotating basis. In 2017, tests were conducted on fresh and processed foods including fruits and vegetables as well as honey, milk and bottled water. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) partners with cooperating state agencies to collect and analyze pesticide residue levels on selected foods. For over 25 years, USDA has tested a variety of commodities including fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat, poultry, grains, fish, rice, specialty products, and water.

USDA tests a wide variety of domestic and imported foods, with a strong focus on foods that are consumed by infants and children. EPA relies on PDP data to conduct dietary risk assessments and to ensure that any pesticide residues in foods remain at levels that EPA has determined to be safe. USDA uses the data to help U.S. farmers improve agricultural practice and to enhance the department’s Integrated Pest Management Program.

The annual pesticide residue results are reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and EPA in monthly reports as testing takes place throughout the year. FDA and EPA are immediately notified if a PDP test discovers residue levels that could pose a public safety risk.

The 2017 data and summary can be found on the Pesticide Data Program page on the AMS website. For more information about pesticides and food, please visit the EPA website and the FDA website.

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