Residue Analytical Methods (RAM)
Residue analytical methods for food, feed, and animal commodities identify and quantify the pesticide residue of interest, determining the total toxic residue of the pesticide regulated by the tolerance (maximum legal residue level), including significant metabolites and degradates (break-down products).
Reliable residue analytical methods are necessary to measure the magnitude of residue in a commodity, and to enforce legal residue limits (tolerances). EPA's laboratory has tested most of the methods found in the RAM index. When some of these methods were tested, our laboratory clarified certain sections of the methods to improve performance or remove ambiguity. In most of those cases, an addendum is added to the method to explain the necessary clarifications. A few of the methods found in the RAM Index have not been tested in the laboratory but have undergone extensive review as to their suitability for collection of pesticide residue monitoring data and for tolerance enforcement. While most of the methods perform satisfactorily, some may have deficiencies. EPA makes no claim of validity by posting these methods, but recognizes that they may be of some utility to state, tribal, and local authorities. Questions about any of these methods should be discussed with EPA's laboratory staff.
Work on residue analytical methods is conducted by the Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, under the Office of Pesticide Programs, at the Environmental Science Center in Fort Meade, Maryland.