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FDA's Pesticide Analysis Demonstrates Consistent Trends
USAgNet - 09/16/2020

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued its annual Pesticide Residue Monitoring Program Report for FY 2018. The Pesticide Residue Monitoring Program is administered by the FDA to ensure that FDA-regulated foods in U.S. commerce comply with the pesticide tolerances, or maximum residue levels, set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The agency tested for a total of 809 pesticides and industrial chemicals across 4,896 domestic and imported food samples collected in FY 2018 between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018 under the residue monitoring program. Of the samples tested, 4,404 were human foods and 492 were animal foods. In FY 2018, the majority of samples tested were in compliance with the tolerances set by the EPA.

Of the 1,448 domestic human food samples analyzed, 96.8% were in compliance and 47.1% had no detectable residues. Of the 2,956 human food import samples analyzed, 87.1% were in compliance and 47.2% had no detectable residues. The violation rate (12.9%) for imported human foods sampled was slightly higher than in previous years (FY 2012-2017), due in part to a higher violation rate for cilantro and radishes, which were targeted for increased sampling based on previous findings.

Of the 264 domestic animal food samples analyzed, 96.2% were in compliance and 39.8% had no detectable residues; and of the 228 imported animal food samples analyzed, 96.5% were in compliance and 50% had no detectable residues.

Growers often use pesticides to protect their products from insects, weeds, fungi, and other pests. Trace amounts of pesticides, or pesticide chemical residues, may remain in or on some foods.

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