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State Finds 5 Percent Of Produce Has Too Much Pesticide

Ken Bosma/Flickr

A Mexican cactus fruit, also known as the prickly pear.

Ken Bosma/Flickr

About 94 percent of California’s fruits and vegetables meet federal standards, according to the results of an annual state investigation. That also means one out of 20 pieces the state tested had too much pesticide.

The Department of Pesticide Regulation tested 3,500 fruits and vegetables from California retailers. Six percent violated a federal standard either for containing too high levels of pesticide or the wrong type for the piece of produce.

The department's Charlotte Fadipe says the rate of violations is in-line with previous years and indicates California produce is safe.

"We have absolute confidence, and we think people should be confident, about the fruits and vegetables that they buy in the stores," Fadipe says. "Especially the ones that are California grown or are U.S. grown."

The department says its investigation targets fruit known to have a high rate of violations.

Foreign produce from Mexico and China, including cactus fruit, papaya, and ginger, topped this year’s list of violators. U.S. kale and spinach also made the list.