National Editor Tom Karst
National Editor Tom Karst

In a departure from the norm, the Alliance for Food and Farming (Safe Fruits and Veggies) is trumpeting good news from the Environmental Working Group.

In a post titled "EWG States Both Conventional and Organic Produce Are Safe to Eat,"  the alliance said this:

They answered us.  Finally.  And, with good news!  The Environmental Working Group unequivocally states that “EWG believes that both organic and conventional produce is safe to eat.”  Further, their advice for low income consumers who may reduce consumption after hearing EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” list statements: “Our advice to these consumers is the same for everybody: Eat more fruits and vegetables!  The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure.”

Of equal importance, EWG also admitted that they are combining years old sampling data with current data to generate their so-called list.  Some of this sampling data is almost a decade old.

It should be noted that most of EWG answers were still muddled or indirect and they often reverted back into their contradictory, fear-based messaging position.  As expected, many of our questions were also met with EWG’s standard rudeness and sarcasm as well as attacks on our organization.  But EWG’s statements regarding the safety of all produce, their recommendation to eat more, their acknowledgement of the Alliance’s consumer research findings as well as EWG’s admission that they are relying on years old data when compiling their list are key.

They are key because these answers by EWG open the door for us to ask our real question: “Why publish a list like this at all?”


TK: I haven't seen the "long form" of the Q and A exchange online yet; I have inquiries in to both the alliance and EWG. Any communication that drives home the message that all consumers should "eat more fruits and vegetables" is positive, in my view.