|Author: ||C.M. Benbrook|
|Keywords: ||apple, pesticide dietary risk, Dietary Risk Index, Pesticide Data Program|
Mounting evidence confirms that how and where fruit is grown has significant impacts on pest pressure, pesticide applications, and the pesticide residues remaining in or on food.
New tools are available to quantify pesticide risk levels and trends in tree fruit over time, and by production region and farming system.
A “dietary risk index” (DRI) has been applied to quantify changes in pesticide risk levels in domestically grown and imported tree fruit since passage of the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA). Residues as reported by the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) “Pesticide Data Program” (PDP) and DRI-derived risk levels are compared across states and in domestically grown and imported fruit.
Since passage of the FQPA in 1996, pesticide-risk levels in six domestically grown tree fruit crops have declined dramatically (~93%), while risks stemming from residues in imported fruit have dropped only ~36%, and have risen in peaches.
Overall, organophosphate insecticides account for ~20% of the pesticide dietary risk in tree fruit samples tested in 2010, down from ~65% in 1996.
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