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Pesticide Data Program numbers:

USDA report: US food supply 'one of the safest in the world'

More than 20% of food sampled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2016 showed no detectable pesticides and less than 0.5% of food had pesticide residue levels above Environmental Protection Agency limits.

Fresh and processed fruit and vegetables accounted for 90.3% of the 10,365 samples collected by the program in 2016, according to the 200-page report. The USDA said 502 of samples (4.8%) were organic.

According to the report, more than 99.5% of the samples had pesticide residues well below levels established by the EPA and 22% had no detectable residue. The USDA report is one source of residue data interpreted by the Environmental Working Group to create its annual Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 ranking of fruits and vegetables.

According to an article by geneticliteracyproject.org, residues exceeding the tolerance were detected in 0.46%; of these 48 samples, 26 were domestic, 20 were imported, and 2 were of unknown origin.

Publication date: 2/15/2018


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