The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act for enforcing tolerances established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for amounts of pesticide residues that may legally remain on food (including animal feed). In meeting this responsibility, FDA collects and analyzes food from commercial channels of trade for determining compliance with EPA tolerances. Residue data gathered under this regulatory monitoring program are also used for evaluating the extent and significance of pesticide residues in the food supply.
The Pesticide Analytical Manual (PAM) is published by FDA as a repository of the analytical methods used in FDA laboratories to examine food for pesticide residues for regulatory purposes (40 CFR 180.101 (c)). The manual is organized according to the scope of the analytical methods:
Contains multiresidue methods (MRMs) that are used by FDA on a routine basis, because of their efficiency and broad applicability, especially for analyzing foods of unknown pesticide treatment history. Both the complete, current version of PAM I (October, 1999) and the revisions and replacement tables for PAM I 3rd edition are available in Adobe Acrobat pdf format; viewing and/or printing these files requires the free Adobe Acrobat reader.
Contains methods designed for the analysis of commodities for residues of only a single compound (although some methods are capable of determining several related compounds). These methods are most often used when the likely residue is known and/or when the residue of interest cannot be determined by common MRMs. An updated index to PAM II is now available.
Learn more about Pesticides in the Foodborne Illness and Contaminants section.
- Guidance on Chemical Contaminants, Metals, Natural Toxins, and Pesticides
Find Guidance Documents on Pesticides and other possible contaminants in food.