Each year, the Agricultural Marketing Service of the USDA (USDA-AMS) conducts an extensive sampling and analysis of items from the actual US food supply to determine what, if any, pesticide residues are present at the consumer level. This information is published each year, and the actual raw data is also available for download. The data for 2010 was just recently released.
What Does The Data Actually Tell Us?
For 2010, as for preceding years, the data demonstrates is that pesticide residues are only present at very low levels, usually dramatically below the conservative "tolerances" set during the risk analysis by the EPA. This is quite remarkable considering that pesticide use on crops depends on many thousands of independent decisions by many thousands of individual farmers both in the US and in dozens of countries from which we import food.
This year the USDA provided several summaries in an effort to be clear about what they have found. In this year's press release one finds the following, unambiguous statements: