CALIFORNIA’S PRODUCE RESIDUE LEVELS
Pesticide residue testing in California last year found that most fruits and vegetables analyzed were free of residues. The latest results from the California EPA’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) show that 57.5% of the 3,501 samples of 160 different fruits and vegetables tested contained no residues. The DPR found that 38.9% of samples had residues within legal limits and 3.6% had illegal residue levels. That compares with 3.4% in the previous year. Less than 1% of samples tested in 2012 contained residues above legal limits and 2.7% contained residues of pesticides not approved for use on that commodity. Most food samples with illegal pesticide residues were imported. Produce grown in California showed 98.1% compliance with EPA tolerances. The commodities with the most frequently found illegal residues last year were yardlong beans and chili peppers from Mexico and snow peas from Guatemala.