New FDA Report Examines Pesticide Residues in Foods

October 1, 2018

2 Min Read
New FDA Report Examines Pesticide Residues in Foods
A worker applies a herbicide to a field. Image courtesy of Pixabay

The latest release of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) annual Pesticide Monitoring Report shows the majority of human and pet foods produced and imported into the U.S. during FY2016 tested below the federal limits for pesticide chemical residues, the agency announced Monday. 

“We annually test foods commonly eaten by consumers and animals for pesticide residues to ensure that the foods meet federal standards and don’t pose a risk to the public health. FDA may take action if any foods are found to contain pesticide residues that are above the federal standard,”FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.said in a statement.“Today we’re releasing the latest set of results from our annual Pesticide Monitoring Program. Like other recent reports, the results show that overall levels of pesticide chemical residues are below the Environmental Protection Agency’s tolerances, and therefore don’t pose a risk to consumers.”

6946 human food products and 467 animal foods were tested during the fiscal year running from Oct. 1, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2016 under the FDA’s Pesticide Monitoring Program. Of the domestically-produced human foods tested, the FDA found that 99% were in compliance with federal regulations and that 52.9% tested negative for pesticide residues. 90% of imported human foods met federal standards, and 50.7% of the products tested negative for the chemicals. 

More than 98% of the animal foods were in compliance with federal regulations. However, only 43% of U.S.-made animal food samples, and 50.7% of imported animal food, tested negative for pesticides. 

In addition to the results of the annual pesticides monitoring effort, the FDA also publicized the findings of its “Collection of Selected Domestic and Imported Foods for Herbicides Analysis” study that looks for residues of glyphosate, glufosinate, and 30 selected acid herbicides in foods. 

Examining 274 grain corn, 267 soybean, 113 milk, and 106 egg samples, the agency found non-volatile levels of glyphosate in 63.1% of corn samples and 67% of soybean samples. Non-volatile levels of glufosinate were uncovered in 1.4% of corn tested and 1.1% of soybeans.

To read the full FDA report, click here.

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