“Dirty Dozen” List Based on Junk Science, Discourages Healthy Eating

WASHINGTON, DC – The Environmental Working Group (EWG) once again released its annual “Dirty Dozen” list this week, cautioning consumers against purchasing 12 types of nutritious fruits and vegetables, such as potatoes and apples. EWG urges consumers, “When buying organic produce is not an option, use the [EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce] to choose foods lower in pesticide residues.” CropLife America (CLA) and many other food-focused organizations remain vehemently opposed to the misinformation within EWG’s list and, instead, encourage consumers to reach for fruits and vegetables at the grocery store regardless of how the food was grown.

“Consumers deserve to know that pesticide technology, used in both organic and conventional farming, is carefully regulated in the U.S. to protect their safety,” stated Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CLA. “Year after year, reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Pesticide Data Program (PDP) show that more than 99 percent of the products sampled have residues below tolerances set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It’s time for EWG to discontinue this list and stop adding confusion and fear to the flurry of messages that consumers receive on what foods to eat.”

“Every person across the country needs to eat healthy food, no matter the size of their wallet,” stated Dr. Janet E. Collins, executive vice president of science and regulatory affairs at CLA. “By continuing to release this list, based on flawed science, EWG is limiting consumer choice when reaching for vitamin-rich spinach or anti-oxidant-filled blueberries at the grocery store. A conventional apple has the same nutritional value as an organic apple. Just make sure you eat that apple!”

If you have ideas or concerns on how to move U.S. farming forward, get involved now with the conversation online with #FoodForward. CLA actively engages with consumers, food bloggers, farmers, chefs, foodies, journalists and others interested in food production on social media, including FacebookTwitter and Instagram. For more information on how farmers use crop protection technology to grow healthful and nutritious food, visit www.GiveaCrop.org.

Michael Leary