The USDA's Pesticide Data Program (PDP) each year collects several thousand food samples, which are analyzed for pesticide residues. In contrast with the FDA's residue monitoring, the PDP is not an enforcement program. Instead, it has developed sampling procedures that are designed to use measurements of actual residue levels to determine residue levels near the time the food items are consumed. Pesticides and commodities sampled each year in the PDP are selected based upon the EPA's data needs. The EPA uses PDP data in its development of dietary pesticide risk assessments as required by the FQPA. PDP data are also employed to examine pesticide residue issues that may impact agricultural practices and U.S. trade, and may be used to identify crops where alternative pest management practices are needed and in promoting export of U.S. commodities in a competitive global market.
The PDP represents partnerships between the USDA and the states; in 2001, ten states (California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin) participated in collecting and analyzing PDP samples.
In total, 12,264 samples were collected and analyzed for pesticide residues in the 2001 PDP (USDA, 2003). Specific fruits and vegetables analyzed in the 2001 PDP included apples, bananas, broccoli, carrots, celery, cherries, grapes, green beans, lettuce, mushrooms, nectarines, oranges, peaches, pineapples, potatoes, canned sweet corn, canned sweet peas, and canned tomato paste. Fruits and vegetable samples were taken most commonly (9903 samples), followed by beef (911 samples), enriched milled rice (689 samples), poultry (464
samples), and drinking water (297 samples). Domestic samples comprised 82% of the total and sampling was based on a statistical design to ensure that the data are reliable for use in exposure assessments.
In 2001, 44% of all samples contained no detectable residues, while 24% showed one residue and 32% showed more than one residue. In 0.1% of the samples, residues were detected that exceeded tolerances, while residues were found on commodities for which no tolerance was established on 1.8% of the samples.
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