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FDA releases latest pesticide residue testing results

Excessive pesticide residues on food aren’t a big problem, according to a new report from the Food and Drug Administration.

The Food and Drug Administration on Oct. 1 reported the results of its FY 2016 Pesticide Residue Monitoring Program.

The agency tested for 711 pesticides and industrial chemicals across 7,413 total samples and the results were consistent with previous years’ findings, according to a news release. The majority of samples, the agency said, were below the tolerance levels set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For pesticides that were tested for in the fiscal year 2016, over 99% of the 2,670 domestic and 90% of the 4,276 imported human food samples were found to be in compliance with federal pesticide residue standards, the FDA said.

 

Results by home and away

No detectable levels of pesticide residues were found in 52.9% of domestic and 50.7% of imported human food samples analyzed. Less than 1% of domestic samples and less than 10% of imported samples were found to be violative, according to the agency.

Of domestic fruit sampled, the FDA said 572 samples were analyzed; 21% contained no residues and seven samples (1.2 %) contained violative residues. For the domestic vegetable commodity group, no residues were found in 47.7% of the 501 samples analyzed and 15 (3%) contained violative residues.

The FDA said that of import fruit commodities, no residues were detected in 39% of 1,273 samples analyzed and 83 (6.5%) had violative residues. Of the 1,686 import vegetable commodity group samples analyzed, 44.2% had no residues detected and 171 (10.1%) had violative residues. 

The FDA said samples are “violative” if they have pesticide chemical residues above the EPA tolerance or pesticide chemical residues for which the EPA has not established a tolerance or a tolerance exemption for the specific pesticide/commodity combination.

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