Residues in Fresh Produce
1997 Monitoring Program

Back to Residues In Fresh Produce 1997 Monitoring Program


County Contract Samples

The state contracts with county agricultural commissioners to take samples for analysis in the Priority Pesticide Program.

Illegal Residue

There are two instances when a pesticide residue is illegal: (1) the residue is at a level over the tolerance established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA); or (2) no tolerance has been established for the crop on which the residue is found.

Marketplace Surveillance Program

A DPR pesticide monitoring program in which produce samples are collected throughout the channels of trade, including wholesale and retail markets, chain store distribution outlets, points of origin, points of entry, and special surveys.

No Tolerance Established

Any pesticide residue found on a commodity for which no tolerance has been established, or exemption from tolerance granted, by U.S. EPA for that particular commodity.

Organic Produce

Produce grown in accordance with California Organic Foods Act of 1990, generally without the use of synthetically manufactured pesticides and fertilizers.


Pesticide residues found above the legally allowed level (tolerance) established by the U.S. EPA.

Parts Per Million

Pesticide residues are normally measured in these units. One part per million equals one part of a chemical per million parts of the commodity.

Point of Entry

Locations where produce enters channels of trade in California. These locations include airports, seaports, and border stations.

Point of Origin

Point of origin is a location where the commodity is packed or stored prior to shipment. This may be at the field for commodities such as lettuce and table grapes, or at the packing house for commodities such as citrus.

Priority Pesticide Program

In this program, DPR concentrates monitoring on pesticides of special health interest. Only commodities known to have been treated with a targeted pesticide are sampled, providing accurate data on which to base estimates of dietary exposure.

Special Surveys

Special surveys are produce sampling studies performed to gather data on pesticides or pesticide use of special concern.


A pesticide's tolerance is the highest residue level allowed on a particular commodity. Before a pesticide can be legally used on a crop, U.S. EPA must adopt a tolerance, or grant an exemption from tolerance. The tolerance is set for regulatory purposes and is established at a level that incorporates a margin of safety.