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Thanks Amy for starting this discussion. I thought I would answer the questions about how SCS conducts the certification. We review each grower’s pesticide practices and conduct laboratory testing that targets each pesticide. To answer BooksInGarden’s question, we test each pesticide to the “limit of detection,” which is the lowest detectable level with today’s lab technology. This varies among pesticides, but it is usually 0.01 parts per million, which is far below regulatory or organic requirements. The Pesticide Residue Free certification looks primarily at the final product and not the techniques used for growing. We agree that the impacts on the environment and workers are as important as the end consumer. As Ray pointed out, Pesticide Free can be used with organic certification to address the issue that organic crops often have high pesticide residues. This certification can be used by smaller growers who can’t afford organic certification or who are currently undergoing the long organic certification process. –Nick Kordesch from SCS
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Dec 16, 2010