The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has officially released its updated list of fruits and vegetables ranked by potential pesticide exposure. As ACSH's Jeff Stier noted when he got a sneak-peek at the list in April, blueberries and peaches are cited among the worst offenders.
“This undermines the public health goal of getting people to eat more fruits and vegetables by intentionally scaring them away from a wide variety of healthy produce,” says Stier, who, at his own risk, ate fresh blueberries and peaches for breakfast.
“This list is also contrary to well-established scientific knowledge that trace levels of pesticides are not associated with adverse health effects,” says ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross. “Both the EPA and the FDA have evaluated the currently approved pesticides over and over again, and they have deemed them safe at current exposures. And by the way, those agencies’ standards for exposure have 100- and 1000-fold margins of error built into them in terms of how much residue is required to affect consumers’ health. So there is no need to pay the 30 or 40 percent higher cost of organic produce that has no additional nutritional benefit whatsoever, and the fact that the EWG trots out this list every year is counterproductive to public health.”