International Journal of Food Consumption: Chronic Dietary Exposure to Pesticide Residues in the United States

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Consumers should be encouraged to eat fruits, vegetables and grains and should not fear the low levels of pesticide residues found in such foods.

A peer reviewed analysis published in July 2015 in the International Journal of Food Contamination concluded that dietary exposure to pesticides in the diet continue to be at levels far below those of health concern.  The paper's conclusion also stated: "Consumers should be encouraged to eat fruits, vegetables and grains and should not fear the low levels of pesticide residues found in such foods."   This paper was authored by Dr. Carl Winter, Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California, Davis.  Dr. Winter's paper provides updated estimates of dietary exposure to pesticides in the U.S. using the most recent Total Diet Study findings on pesticide residues.

The paper also states: "Consumer fears from pesticide residues provide the potential for consumers to reduce their consumption of fruits, vegetables and grains, negating the positive health benefits attributed to consumption of large amounts of such foods in one's diet.

“Findings from this study also indicate that the potential health benefits from further reducing one’s exposure to pesticide residues through the purchase of organic foods may not provide any appreciable benefit given the very low level of pesticide residues consumers are typically exposed to from conventionally produced foods and the finding that organic foods commonly have been shown to contain pesticide residues as well, although at lower frequency than their conventional counterparts”.

This scientific analysis provides further evidence of the safety of both organic and conventionally grown produce and should reassure consumers that the more affordable and accessible fruits and vegetables can be purchased with confidence. This analysis also underscores the importance of providing science-based, credible information to consumers so that facts, not fear, can guide their shopping choices.

Read, learn, choose but eat more organic and conventionally grown fruits and vegetables for better health and a longer life.