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USDA pesticide report confirms food safety
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) annual report has confirmed again that American consumers do not need to be concerned about pesticide residues on conventional and organic produce. Over 99 percent of fresh and processed food available to consumers tested below allowable pesticide residue levels, as detailed in the 24th Pesticide Data Program (PDP) Annual Report released on January 11, 2016 by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
Only .36 percent of the products sampled through the PDP had residues above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established tolerances.
PDP researchers tested a total of 10,619 samples of fresh and processed fruit and vegetables (8,582 samples). To ensure that the samples were representative of the U.S., researchers collected data in a variety of states throughout different times of the year. The findings support the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, recently released by USDA and the U.S. Department of Health, which encourage consumers to eat more fruits and vegetables.
A 2012 report from CLA demonstrates that crop protection has made healthy food more financially accessible to the American consumer, providing a 47.92 percent savings in overall grocery bills for a family of four in the U.S.1 In addition, increased agricultural production, due to advanced pesticides, has created an additional 1,040,661 jobs generating more than $33 billion in wages, all while decreasing the need for tillage operations, thereby reducing fossil fuel use by 558 million gallons per year.
The PDP was established in 1991 for the purpose of collecting data on pesticide residues found in food. A complete version of the 2014 Annual Summary is available at www.ams.usda.gov/pdp.
Publication date: 1/18/2016
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