Viewpoint: FDA pesticide report should alleviate public fears of chemicals in food, but no one is listening

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Image: Asia Pacific Food Industry

The International Food Information Council Foundation’s (IFIC) 2018 Food & Health survey identified carcinogens or cancer-causing chemicals in food as a leading consumer food safety concern. Such apprehension is at the heart of several trends swaying consumer purchasing patterns and is why the Food and Drug Administration’s recently issued Pesticide Residue Monitoring 2016 Report merits greater attention.

The report shows the agency tested for 711 pesticides and industrial chemicals from 7,413 total samples, and the F.D.A. emphasized the results were consistent with the findings from previous years. Two groups of samples were taken — those from domestic foods and those from imported products.

Ninety-nine per cent of the samples from domestic products and 90 per cent of those from imported foods comply with federal standards. No detectable levels of pesticide residues were found in 52.9 per cent of domestic and 50.7 per cent of imported human food samples.

Related article:  Natural pesticide claimed as replacement for antibiotics as treatment for citrus greening disease decimating US citrus industry

The F.D.A.’s annual Pesticide Residue Monitoring statistics are not the type of information that will go viral. Beyond a handful of industry-specific news outlets, the release of this year’s report was hardly noticed.

Yet it is just the type of science-based supporting information companies may use to counter the onslaught of misinformation about the safety of the nation’s food supply. It is available on the F.D.A.’s web site and, best of all, it’s free.

Read full, original article: F.D.A. pesticide data demonstrate industry commitment to food safety

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