The Relationship Between “Cosmetic Standards” for Foods and Pesticide Use

  • David Pimentel
  • Colleen Kirby
  • Anoop Shroff


The American marketplace features nearly perfect fruits and vegetables. Gone are the apples with an occasional blemish, a slightly russetted orange, or fresh spinach with a leaf miner. Less apparent but present in fresh and processed fruits and vegetables are a few small insects and mites. This increase in the “cosmetic standards” of fruits and vegetables has resulted from the development of new pesticide technologies and the efforts of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to limit the levels of insects and mites in fruits and vegetables, and as a consequence of new standards established by wholesalers, processors, and retailers. Consumer preferences have probably influenced these changes.


Pesticide Residue Pest Control Leaf Miner Cosmetic Appearance Marketing Order 
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Copyright information

© Routledge, Chapman & Hall, Inc. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Pimentel
    • 1
  • Colleen Kirby
    • 2
  • Anoop Shroff
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Entomology and Section of Ecology and Systematics, New York State College of Agriculture and Life SciencesCornell UniversityIthaca
  2. 2.Section of GeneticsCornell UniversityIthaca
  3. 3.New York State College of Agriculture and Life SciencesCornell UniversityIthaca

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