The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), conducts this program each year to collect data on pesticide residues in food.
This report shows that when pesticide residues are found on foods, they are nearly always at levels below the tolerances set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Over 99 percent of the products sampled through PDP had residues below the EPA tolerances. Ultimately, if EPA determines a pesticide is not safe for human consumption, it is removed from the market.
The PDP tests a wide variety of domestic and imported foods, with a strong focus on foods that are consumed by infants and children. EPA relies on PDP data to conduct dietary risk assessments and to ensure that any pesticide residues in foods remain at safe levels. USDA uses the data to better understand the relationship of pesticide residues to agricultural practices and to enhance USDA’s Integrated Pest Management objectives. USDA also works with U.S. growers to improve agricultural practices.
The PDP is not designed for enforcement of EPA pesticide residue tolerances. Rather, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for enforcing EPA tolerances. PDP provides FDA and EPA with monthly reports of pesticide residue testing and informs the FDA if residues detected exceed the EPA tolerance or have no EPA tolerance established.
The PDP works with State agencies representing all census regions of the country and approximately half of the U.S. population. In 2017, samples were collected and analyzed in California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.
For more information about PDP, please visit our website at https://www.ams.usda.gov/datasets/pdp. For more information about pesticides and food, please visit EPA’s website at http://www.epa.gov/safepestcontrol and FDA’s website at http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/Pesticides.