Pesticides expert witnesses may give opinions regarding pesticide contamination which is a topic very much in the news. An internal government audit revealed this week that the U.S. Department of Agriculture routinely fails to protect the American public from veterinary drugs, heavy metals and pesticide residue in beef. According to the audit, released by the USDA’s Office of the Inspector General, the USDA has failed to establish guidelines to monitor harmful substances on cattle carcasses, does not test frequently enough to control residue levels and fails to recall meat that is known to be contaminated with veterinary drugs or chemicals.
The residue testing program is run by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, which is responsible for testing the meat. However, the agency also relies on the Environmental Protection Agency to establish acceptable tolerance levels for human exposure to pesticides and chemicals and the Food and Drug Administration, which sets acceptable levels for antibiotics. According to the audit report, the agencies have shown a lack of commitment on working together to set acceptable standards and reinforce those standards.
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