Marion Nestle Breaks Ranks, Defies EWG

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ACSH staffers were pleasantly surprised to find an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times underlining the scientific illiteracy and irresponsibility of the anti-pesticide scare tactics consistently used by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in their semi-annual Dirty Dozen reports. The EWG screed asserts that the amount of pesticides left on certain conventionally grown produce, even after washing, is too high despite the fact that the levels present are well within the legal limits. It doesn t mean they re safe, says EWG s Sara Sciammacco, who cites recent studies allegedly linking childhood pesticide exposure to lower IQ, brain development complications, and an increased incidence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

However, New York University professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health Dr. Marion Nestle makes a sound science observation with regard to consumers who may be considering forgoing conventionally grown produce. In order to be exposed to the amount of pesticides that might actually result in even the smallest health risk, she says, one would need to eat so much (of the produce on the Dirty Dozen list) you can t even imagine...The amounts of pesticides are usually small and people who eat fruits and vegetables, with or without pesticides, are healthier than those who do not.