“United Fresh is gratified that the USDA’s 2010 PDP report verifies the safety of consuming fruits and vegetables at every meal,” Ray Gilmer, vice president of communications for Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association, said in a statement.
According to the 2010 report, overall pesticide residues found on foods tested are at levels well below the tolerances set by the EPA.
Only 0.25% of samples — fresh and processed fruit and vegetables, oats, eggs, catfish, baby food, groundwater, and treated and untreated drinking water — tested at levels exceeding EPA tolerances, according to the release.
Of the 12,845 samples collected and analyzed, the USDA said 10,974 were fresh and processed fruit and vegetable commodities, 299 were oat samples, 371 were egg samples, 384 were catfish samples, 250 were groundwater samples, and 567 were drinking water samples.
Industry sources said the data affirms that consumers would benefit from eating more produce, whether that produce is conventionally grown or organic.