UPDATED: Alliance: EWG still misleading consumers - The Packer

UPDATED: Alliance: EWG still misleading consumers

04/30/2014 02:40:00 PM
Tom Karst

The USDA’s latest data, from the 2012 Pesticide Data Program report, show that 99% of sampled products had residues below EPA tolerances, according to the statement. “With the USDA’s data in mind, consumers should feel confident about eating a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.”

Bryan Silbermann, CEO of the Produce Marketing Association, said in an e-mail to members that the Dirty Dozen was “a sensational list meant to drum up national media attention.” PMA’s funding of the Alliance for Food and Farming helps the industry counter misinformation about pesticide residues on fresh produce with science, Silbermann said.

The EWG’s 2014 Dirty Dozen list, the tenth edition of the report, listed apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet bell peppers, imported nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, potatoes and imported snap peas. In addition, EWG said leafy greens — kale and collard greens — and hot peppers were cited as “frequently” contaminated by insecticides.

The group’s Clean Fifteen list is avocados, corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwi, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower and sweet potatoes.

Lunder said there were relatively few changes in this year’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists. Imported snap peas came on to the Dirty Dozen list and cauliflower was added to the Clean Fifteen and mushrooms came off the list, she said in an e-mail. She said the EPA should do more to comply with the Right to Know provisions of the Food Quality Protection Act. 

Dolan said the federal government already spreads that message with the Pesticide Data Program summary report.

The consumer group said in the release that its analysts rank produce using use six metrics including the total number of pesticides detected on a crop and the percent of samples tested with detectable pesticides.

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Mischa Popoff    
Greenville TX  |  May, 01, 2014 at 05:12 PM

The sole purpose of EWG's Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists is to promote the purchase of certified organic foods. (It's a little surprising that this is not mentioned in this article by the way.) The USDA admits that a whopping 43% of the certified-organic food sold in America tested positive for prohibited pesticide residues, levels which are a clear indication of rampant fraud in the multibillion dollar organic sector, and which result from the fact that there is currently no testing of organic crops under the USDA's National Organic Program. So the question is, if EWG is really worried about pesticides in our foods, why don't they demand the testing organic crops?

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