Mexico and China seem to be at odds with regards to FDA Pesticides Sampling. Since the violation rates of imported goods are higher than for domestic goods, the FDA tests more imported commodities than domestic. In its regulatory pesticide residue monitoring program, the FDA selectively monitors a broad range of imported and domestic commodities.”
The FDA analyzed 4,737 produce samples from 111 foreign countries during FY 2015. Of those samples, 444, had pesticide residues in excess but of allowable limits. No pesticide chemical residues were found in 49.8 percent of the domestic food samples and 56.8 percent of imported food samples. Food samples tested included apples, cherries (fresh and frozen), cucumbers, grapefruit, grapes, green beans, lettuce, nectarines, oranges, peaches, pears, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, sweet corn (fresh and frozen), tomatoes, and watermelon. Over 99 percent of the samples tested had residues well below the tolerances established by the EPA with 15 percent having no detectable pesticide residue.
Fruit and vegetable samples are collected at terminal markets and large chain store distribution centers from which food commodities are supplied to supermarkets and grocery stores. Sampling at these locations allows for residue measurements that include pesticides applied during crop production and those applied after harvest (such as fungicides, growth regulators, and sprouting inhibitors) and takes into account residue degradation while food commodities are in storage.
The FDA listed a table of imported commodities that the agency said may warrant “special attention” in future tests. That group of commodities had at least 20 samples analyzed or with a minimum of three violations, and had a violation rate of 10 percent or higher.
Imported fruit and vegetable items on that list included:
* • Cabbage: 15 samples analyzed, violation rate of 26.7 percent * • Cilantro: 22 samples analyzed, violation rate of 27.3 percent * • Mushroom: 86 samples analyzed, violation rate of 26.7 percent * • Nectarine fruit/juice: 47 samples analyzed, violation rate of 10.6 percent * • Parsley: 18 samples analyzed, violation rate of 22.2 percent * • Peas: 68 samples analyzed, violation rate of 13.2 percent * • Peppers, hot: 293 samples analyzed, violation rate of 10.9 percent * • Pineapple fruit/juice: 39 samples analyzed, violation rate of 15.4 percent * • Radish: 21 samples analyzed, violation rate of 19.1 percent * • Rambutan: 14 samples analyzed, violation rate of 21.4 percent * • Scallions and shallots: 21 samples analyzed, violation rate of 19.1 percent * • Squash (Mexico): 73 samples analyzed, violation rate of 15.1 percent * • Strawberries fruit/juice: 89 samples analyzed, violation rate of 15.7 percent.
Resources: 1. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. (n.d.). Pesticides - Pesticide Residue Monitoring 2016 Report and Data. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/Pesticides/ucm618247.htm