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Lettuce Provides Indication of Pesticide Use and Residues

Ann Vandeman, David Shank, Ram Chandran and Utpal Vasavada

Food Review/ National Food Review, 1992, vol. 15, issue 3

Abstract: Pesticides make an important contribution to high U.S. farm productivity and a lowcost, plentiful food supply. Some scientific evidence shows that pesticide residues are not a serious risk to the safety of the food supply. Yet there are widespread concerns based on contrary evidence about pesticide use and toxicity to humans, chronic health effects, food safety, water pollution, and threats to wildlife. Consumers frequently rank pesticide residues on food as the number one food safety risk. These concerns, together with pressures to regulate and restrict agrichemical use in U.S. agriculture, are stimulating the search for alternative farming methods. Improved pesticide-application methods and techniques such as the close monitoring of pest populations, crop rotation, and developing a plant's genetic resistance to specific pests offer the possibility of limiting pesticide use while preserving the productivity and economic viability of U.S. farms. USDA's Pesticide Data Program (see box) gathers information on pesticide residues remaining on produce and on growers' use of pesticides. These data offer an opportunity to study the relationships between pesticide use on the farm and the residues found on produce. They will also help in examining the evolution of production practices in agriculture.

Keywords: Crop Production/Industries; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1992
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.266090

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