Information provided for informational purposes only

Note: This information is provided for reference purposes only. Although the information provided here was accurate and current when first created, it is now outdated.


TRAC 5/27/98

Staff Background Paper # 3.3


USDA's Pesticide Data Program (PDP)--pesticide residue data

PDP's mission is to develop statistically-reliable national data for pesticide residues in foods most likely consumed by infants and children. The data are used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), several USDA agencies, and others to:

1) conduct dietary risk assessments under FQPA;

2) provide information to support the export of U.S. commodities;

3) better understand the relationship of pesticide residues to agriculture practices;

4) enhance USDA's Integrated Pest Management objectives; and

5) correlate residue findings with pesticide use surveys.

The program was begun in 1991 with fresh fruits and vegetables and extended to processed commodities in 1994. Grains were added in 1995, milk in 1996, single-serving size samples 1997, and corn syrup in 1998. Each product type has a different sampling system based on product marketing and residue testing profile required.

The participating states are California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. These states plus states in their distribution network represent more than half the Nation's population, major agricultural states, and all regions of the country.

Over the past 6 years, 31 commodities have been included in PDP's sampling/testing profile. At least 2-years of pesticide residue data are collected for fresh commodities and at least 1- year for processed products (see attachment).

Samples are prepared for testing emulating consumer practices. Participating laboratories adhere to uniform standard operating procedures for sample collection, analysis, and electronic transfer of data. PDP samples at least 12 commodities each year, collecting an average of 700 samples/commodity for most commodities. Some special surveys will require 100 to 300 samples. About 8,900 samples are scheduled for 1998 resulting in approximately 51,000 analyses. State and Federal laboratories perform analyses for more than 100 pesticides using multi- and specific residue methods. The 1997 Summary is being prepared and should be published in late 1998 or early 1999.

An example of the results table from the 1996 data is attached.


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updated May 22, 1998