ABC Hosts Japanese Health Authorities Learning About Pesticide Use, Monitoring

In March, the Almond Board cooperated with FDA and USDA in hosting officials from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW). The week-long visit to California provided these MHLW officials an opportunity to learn about U.S. efforts to monitor pesticide levels in food and how growers address different tolerance levels in export markets.

The “Almond Day” consisted of an overview of the industry’s approach to pest management, an orchard visit and a processing facility tour. The MHLW visitors were satisfied with the almond industry’s efforts, remarking that the data collected in the annual pesticide survey would be useful in cases in which a pesticide violation has occurred — and facilitating a return to normal import procedures.

It is important to keep in mind that pesticide tolerances (Maximum Residue Limits, or MRLs) often differ from market to market; therefore, pesticide applications that meet U.S. tolerances may not meet MRLs in export markets. Testing for pesticide residues has increased, and detections in a market like Japan can trigger increased surveillance for the entire region. ABC continues to cooperate with U.S. authorities on global harmonization of MRLs. To find information on different MRLs, visit, which is maintained by USDA.