USDA releases new round of pesticide residue tests on produce showing conventional agriculture’s continued heavy reliance on toxic crop chemicals

WASHINGTON – The Department of Agriculture today published its latest round of pesticide residue tests for thousands of samples of domestic and imported fruits and vegetables. 

The following is a statement from EWG’s Vice President for Science Investigations Olga Naidenko, Ph.D.:

The latest round of residue tests clearly shows conventional agriculture continues its heavy reliance on toxic pesticides. Chemical agriculture companies will of course claim that levels detected are below the legal limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency, but it’s worth reminding consumers, particularly parents and pregnant women, that just because the levels are legal doesn’t mean they are safe for babies and young children.

The USDA conducts regular ongoing sampling of pesticide residues on produce through its Pesticide Data Program in its Agricultural Marketing Service division. Each year, EWG uses the latest test results from that sampling to update the annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™. The guide gives consumers easy-to-use information about which fruits and vegetables have the highest and lowest levels of pesticide residues. 

Researchers at EWG will review the USDA’s latest rounds of tests as they prepare the 2022 Shopper’s Guide for publication later this year. 


The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action

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