99 percent of almost 10,000 foods below legal pesticide safety levels, USDA finds

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Credit: Healthline

The EPA sets “tolerances” to ensure that any potential residues resulting from strictly regulated pesticide use are safe for consumers. EPA’s statute for protecting the food supply, the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), sets an exceedingly high bar for health and safety, especially for infants and children.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has pointed out that the previous annual survey of detectable pesticide residues on foods found “more than 99 percent of sampled items had pesticide residues that did not exceed any EPA tolerances, and more than half had no detectable pesticide residues at all.”

[Pesticide Data Program] results are based on analysis of over 700 samples per food from more than 560 locations across the United States [resulting in almost 10,000 samples total]. These samples were collected during all 12 months of 2019 and were prepared just as consumers would prepare these foods before eating them at home, then subjected to analytical testing in a laboratory.

[Agricultural Marketing Service] laboratories use state-of-the-art mass spectrometry for the analysis of pesticide residues in the samples, and all data are reviewed by USDA scientists.

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The 2019 PDP Annual Summary shows that fruits and vegetables marketed in the United States are safe, healthy and wholesome. Consumers can feel confident in eating an abundant variety of fruits and vegetables to meet daily dietary requirements for good health.

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