Recent data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveals that there’s much room for improvement in the way both organizations monitor pesticide residue violations. These findings were reported by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). 

Among the GAO’s discoveries are:

  • The FDA tested less than one-tenth of one percent of imported shipments in 2012

  • While the FDA does not disclose that it does not test for several commonly used pesticides, the GAO believes that disclosing such information would help meet best practices for conducting and reporting data collection.

  • From 2000 through 2011, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service did not test meat, poultry and processed eggs for all pesticides with established Environmental Protection Agency tolerance levels.

GAO recommends that FDA improve its methodology and FDA and USDA disclose limitations in their monitoring and data collection efforts. FDA said it will consider methodological changes and will disclose limitations. USDA agreed with GAO's recommendations.

To view the official report, visit