More than 20% of the food sampled by the USDA in 2016 showed no detectable pesticide levels and less .5% of the food had detectable residue levels above limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency. A USDA report titled “What Consumers Should Know” says, again this year, the U.S. food supply is one of the safest in the world.
Fresh and processed fruits and vegetables accounted for 90% of the more than 10,300 samples collected by the agency. 4% of the samples collected were organic. The report says more than 99.5% of the samples had pesticide residue levels well below the EPA limits. 22% of the samples had no detectable residue levels at all.
The USDA report is one source of residue data that the Environmental Working Group uses to create its annual Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 rankings of fruits and vegetables. USDA says the report “provides reliable data to help assure consumers that the food they feed their families and themselves is safe.” The Food and Drug Administration and the EPA would be notified of a residue test that could potentially pose a significant health risk.
If you have a story idea for the Washington Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail email@example.com