MDARD presented a Platinum Hall of Fame Award for donating 18,000 lbs. of food to food banks
Press Release initially published on June 9, 2016 by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
LANSING – The United States Department of Agriculture recently presented the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development the Platinum Hall of Fame Award for donating more than 18,000 pounds of food to charities across the state through its Pesticide Data Program.
Each year, MDARD’s Pesticide Data Program tests 3,000 – 5,000 pounds of food for pesticide residue. The Pesticide Data Program provides data through a cooperative agreement with USDA established in 1991. As part of MDARD’s commitment to food safety, the department participates in a national pesticide testing effort to sample, test, and report pesticide residue on a variety of foods – both domestic and imported.
“The Lab’s sampling team collects food from the public supply by purchasing samples from warehouses, terminal markets and retail grocery stores that volunteer to participate. The donated food is the same food Michigan citizens are putting on their tables,” said Craig VanBuren, Acting Laboratory Division Director, MDARD. “The food is then donated to the Greater Lansing Food Bank which distributes food to people in need in Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Shiawassee, Clare, Isabella and Gratiot counties.”
PDP helps to assure consumers the food they feed their families meets federal food safety requirements as well as ensures the quality and fair marketing of Michigan’s agricultural products across the globe.
“Samples are randomly chosen and include organic products, domestic products and imported products,” added VanBuren. “We currently look for 225 – 240 pesticides and their metabolites and work to expand this testing every year by adding more pesticides to our screens.”
The PDP program, and the work being done at the MDARD Laboratory, enhances the Michigan’s pesticide testing capabilities to respond to consumer complaints alleging pesticide misuse and provides a greater surge capacity for state and national pesticide and toxic chemical emergencies.
For more information on the PDP program, or MDARD’s Lab, go to the website at www.michigan.gov/mdard