September 28, 2022

FDA Releases Pesticide Monitoring Report For Fiscal Year 2020

The FDA has released its pesticide monitoring report for fiscal year 2020 with the news that 96.8% of domestically produced food, and 88.4% of imported food met federal tolerances set by the EPA. From October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020, the FDA tested for about 75o different pesticides and selected industrial compounds on 2,078 human food samples (316 domestic and 1,762 imported) in the program. The domestic food samples were collected from 35 states and imported human food samples were collected from 79 countries.

FDA Releases Pesticide Monitoring Report For Fiscal Year 2020

The maximum residue levels are set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect public health. These tolerances are established on the amount of residue that a food can contain. The domestically produced food group  with the highest percentage of violative samples were vegetables, at 5.4%, while fruits and grains had no violative samples. For imported foods, grains had the highest percentage of violative samples, with grains leading the group at 18.2%; rice was the most commonly contaminated food. Imported vegetables was the second group, followed by fruits.

The most commonly found pesticide was Azoxystrobin, followed by Imidacloprid, Boscalid Fludioxonil, and Cypermethrin.

The choice of commodities to be analyzed in this pesticide monitoring report is based on many different factors including the foods that are most frequently consumed or imported, analysis of past problem areas, dietary significance of the food in question, the origin of imported food, and the toxicity of the pesticide used.

No pesticide residues were found in 40.8% of the domestic samples and 48.4% of the import samples. In the human food groups, the violation rate in each group was higher for the import sample, typically three to five times higher.

The FDA also analyzed 102 animal food samples, and found that 100% of domestic and 96.8% of import samples were compliant with federal standard. No residues were found in 30% of the domestic and 48.4% of the import samples.

The Covid-19 pandemic did affect the sample collection and analysis. About 50% fewer human food samples and 70% fewer animal food samples were collected in fiscal year 2020 compared with fiscal year 2019. Despite this fact, the results showed a rate of compliance similar to previous years.

 

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