Pesticides in Our Food Are Not As Scary As We Thought

Pesticides in Our Food Are Not As Scary As We Thought

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

What this farmer is spraying on his crops is not much cause for alarm, according to the USDA.

No news is good news, right? Pesticide-food scares have been popping up in media outlets for years now, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently came out with its 2012 study that shows that pesticide toxicity levels are actually lower than we think, and have been consistently below the Environmental Protection Agency’s safe level for years.

“The newest data from the PDP [Pesticide Data Program] confirm[s] that pesticide residues in food do not pose a safety concern for Americans,” said an EPA representative in a statement.

Over 99 percent of the fresh and processed fruits, vegetables, wheat, and dairy products passed the test. Chemical residues that exceeded levels deemed safe by the USDA were found in only .5 percent of products tested (the actual offending crops were cherry tomatoes and snap peas). So chances are you won’t actually get sick from pesticide chemicals.

But not everyone agrees with the safety guidelines.

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“Some liken pesticide tolerances to a 500-mph speed limit,” Sonya Lunder, an analyst from the Environmental Working Group told Food Safety News. “It is too easy to comply and does not guarantee anyone’s safety.”