Government Sampling Program Provides More Positive News For Consumers About Produce Safety

Government Sampling Program Provides More Positive News For Consumers About Produce Safety

11/8/2012 11:07 AM


Yesterday, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation issued a press release which stated: “The majority of fresh produce samples collected by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) in 2011 had no detectable pesticide residues, and residues that were detected generally fell well below allowable limits to protect public health.” 

California’s sampling program findings underscore similar findings released by the United States Department of Agriculture Pesticide Data Program (PDP) in May.  USDA stated:  “The 2010 PDP report confirms that food does not pose a safety concern based upon pesticide residues.” 

California DPR tested 2,707 samples of domestic and imported produce.  DPR found that 60.8 percent of the samples had no pesticide residues detected.  And, 35.8 percent had residues that were within allowable limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  The fruits and vegetables sampled by DPR were not washed or peeled prior to testing.

“We want to emphasize that most produce has no detectable pesticide residues and when there are residues, they are at such a low level they are not a health risk,” DPR Director Brian Leahy stated in the press release.

These state and federal government residue sampling programs verify that farmers are following the stringent pesticide use regulations set in place to protect the safety of our food supply.  In addition to sampling conducted by USDA and the Federal Food and Drug Administration, many states, like California, conduct their own sampling programs to protect consumers and local environments.

California DPR joins with the FDA in recommending washing fruits and vegetables for those consumers who may still be concerned about pesticide residues.  DPR states:  “Washing will remove most surface waxes and residues, along with dirt and bacterial contamination.”  FDA states: “Washing fresh produce before eating is a healthful habit. You can reduce and often eliminate residues if they are present on fresh fruits and vegetables.” 

The positive sampling results by yet another government agency should help reinforce the recommendations by health experts, nutritionists, consumer advocates and environmental groups to eat more of either conventional or organic fruits and vegetables for improved health.  These new results also reinforce the key consumer message of the Alliance for Food and Farming which is to read, learn, choose but eat more organic and conventional fruits and vegetables with confidence.  Both farming methods produce safe and healthy foods that you and your family should be eating more of.  So enjoy!


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