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Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) Pesticide Data Program Celebrates 30 Years

Posted by Brenda Foos and Chris Pappas, AMS Science & Technology Monitoring Programs Division in Health and Safety
Oct 20, 2021
A plate of food and a glass of milk on a mat

Join Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) Pesticide Data Program (PDP) in celebrating their 30th anniversary! Since 1991, the program has monitored pesticide residues in the U.S. food supply, with a focus on sampling foods most consumed by infants and children.

The PDP database is currently one of the world’s largest sources of data on food pesticide residues. PDP data are used by groups interested in pesticide residues, and its primary use is the Environmental Protection Agency’s pesticide registration review, including the setting of limits for pesticides allowed in foods, known as tolerances. PDP data are also used in the marketing of U.S. agricultural commodities around the world, as there are requirements for pesticide residue levels in many countries.

PDP is a federal-state partnership and is managed by AMS staff. Participating states are California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.

The state Departments of Agriculture collect and analyze about 10,000 food samples per year and each sample is analyzed for up to 515 pesticides. PDP uses state of the art analytical chemistry approaches and a robust quality assurance program to ensure the high quality of residue data. More than 310,000 food samples have been collected and analyzed from 126 different commodities – ranging from apples to zucchini - generating 42 million pesticide-commodity paired data points.

PDP results help to demonstrate the high quality of the U.S. food supply, as the robust results show that pesticide residues are lower than the limits established by EPA in nearly all food samples (typically >99%), and more than one-third of food samples contain no detectable pesticide residues at all (on average, over the past 5 years). PDP’s yearly results are presented in an Annual Summary that describes the program and findings. PDP data are available through the PDP website and search app.

Category/Topic: Health and Safety