Don’t fear the PDP - The Packer

Don’t fear the PDP

02/25/2013 09:45:00 AM
The Packer Editorial Board

In late February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its 2011 Pesticide Data Program report, in which fresh and processed fruit and vegetables accounted for 82.3% of the total samples.

In it, USDA says U.S. food “does not pose a safety concern based upon pesticide residues.”

But the produce industry is well conditioned for what comes next: environmental scare tactics.

Data from the PDP, which began more than 20 years ago, has been used by the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group since 1995 to compile its “Dirty Dozen” list of produce with the most pesticide residues.

This used to be a dreaded time, as EWG would spread its message to consumers via the mainstream media about how dangerous pesticides are, and, by association, many fresh fruits and vegetables.

But work by produce industry trade groups and its partner, the Alliance for Food and Farming, has begun to balance EWG’s counter intuitive effort.

Within hours of USDA’s release, the alliance had issued the first release of its own.

It said the PDP report “clearly confirms that both conventional and organic fruits and vegetables are safe and that consumers should be eating more of both with confidence.”

The alliance even answers consumers’ possible concerns about pesticide residues, saying they should simply wash their fruits and vegetables before eating them.

Produce industry representatives should spend the next few weeks and months reminding consumers, through all media channels, what they already know to be true.

Of course fresh fruits and vegetables are good for consumers, whether they’re organic or conventional.

Did The Packer get it right? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.

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Bradley Fitzhenry    
February, 25, 2013 at 01:27 PM

Learn more about the Alliance for Food and Farming at Also check out their consumer information site

Mischa Popoff    
Osoyoos BC  |  February, 26, 2013 at 07:19 PM

Dear Bradley Fitzhenry: I've been trying to get in touch with someone at The Alliance for Food and Farming for quite some time now. Please go to my website and drop me a line: All the best!

Mischa Popoff    
Osoyoos BC  |  February, 26, 2013 at 07:16 PM

Right on Packer! You guys are finally getting it right when it comes to organic food. Rather than running-down conventional food, pretending it's toxic as the Environmental Working Group does - hand-in-hand with countless other pro-organic lobby groups - it's time for the $30-billion per-annum American organic sector to stand up and prove itself. If organic food is better, do some tests and prove it! Instead of requiring applicants to merely fill out paperwork and pay exorbitant fees, the organic industry should test all crops and livestock IN THE FIELD to ensure they're the real deal. Otherwise, all we'll continue to get is hype and negativity. You can't sell a Fod by running down a Chev.

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