Other Voices

06/22/2012 09:13:00 AM
The Packer staff

On June 19, the Environmental Working Group released its 2012 Dirty Dozen list of 12 fruits and vegetables, adding greens and green beans in a “plus” category for a total of 14 items.

Below are comments from other media about the list.

Watch out for the 2012 ‘Dirty Dozen’

CNN Health — by Marina Csomor, June 19

Apples and celery are still agriculture’s dirtiest pieces of produce, according to the Environmental Working Group’s annual “Dirty Dozen” report. The report names the fruits and vegetables ranking highest in pesticide residue.

Cucumbers were added to the 2012 Dirty Dozen, while kale and collard greens were moved from the list to join green beans in a new “Plus” category.

The category was created this year to highlight crops that did not meet traditional Dirty Dozen criteria but are still commonly contaminated with organophosphate insecticides, which are toxic to the nervous system. ...

With the release of this list, the EWG suggests consumers reduce their exposure to pesticides as much as possible by purchasing organic versions of the Dirty Dozen. Organic produce is grown using materials of plant or animal origin, instead of chemicals.

Why you shouldn’t panic about pesticide in produce

The Salt/NPR food blog — by Jon Hamilton, June 19

The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit health advocacy organization, says you should be concerned about pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables, but not so concerned that you stop eating these foods.

That’s the mixed message delivered in the eighth edition of EWG’s annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, released today.

The guide begins by telling readers to “eat your fruits and vegetables.” Then it offers a detailed list of every pesticide found along the produce aisle, as well as reminders that “some pesticides pose health dangers to people.”

So what’s a consumer to do?

Look beyond the fearful rhetoric, says Joseph Schwarcz, director of the Office for Science and Society at McGill University in Montreal.

Take apples, Schwarcz says. They occupy the top spot on EWG’s “dirty dozen” list of the most contaminated fruits and vegetables (followed by celery and red peppers). The group notes that nearly all apples contain detectable levels of pesticide residues.


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