What is in this article?:
- Fruits and veggies get clean bill of health as activists whine
- Clean 15
- The latest federal data shows that U.S. fruits and vegetables don’t contain unsafe amounts of pesticide residues.
Undoubtedly to the dismay of environmental activist groups chomping at the bit to disparage the “evil empires” of the big bad produce and pesticide industries, the latest federal data shows that U.S. fruits and vegetables don’t contain unsafe amounts of pesticide residues.
Several environmental groups – chief among them the Environmental Working Group (EWG), authors of the much-flawed “Shoppers Guide to Pesticides” – have been whining for months about the lateness of the Pesticide Data Program’s annual report typically issued earlier in the year by the USDA.
The statistics were released on May 25 and announced that 99.7 percent of all the fruits and vegetables tested for pesticide residues passed inspection with flying colors. “This report shows that overall pesticide residues found on foods tested are at levels below the tolerances set by the EPA,” wrote USDA administrator Rayne Pegg in a letter accompanying the report.
Despite consistent findings such as this that the U.S. food supply is safe when it comes to concerns about trace amounts of pesticides on produce, activist organizations such as EWG and other green groups continue to spew false claims that unfairly dub fruits and vegetables as “dirty,” using their annual Shopper’s Guide as a method of alarming consumers – particularly loving mothers who want to avoid poisoning little Johnny – without providing a modicum of solid scientific evidence to back up their claims.
To wit, a survey of toxicologists conducted by George Mason University in 2009 showed that 79 percent of scientists agreed that the EWG and other activist groups overstate risks. In contrast, the scientists in the survey rate most government agencies as accurately portraying chemical risks.
But positive reports such as the most recent from the Pesticide Data Program are anathema to activist groups like the EWG. You see, positive stats serve to reduce their financial bottom line and in their eyes this is simply unacceptable. So they have to pick up the pace of their fear-mongering campaigns to convince little Johnny’s mom, pregnant women and sympathetic good-hearted donors wishing to “save the planet,” to give more bucks for the cause.
In 2008, EWG reportedly received nearly $6 million in contributions. In its 2008 990 IRS form, EWG said “the purpose of the corporation is to provide non-partisan, independent, objective research on a range of environmental issues important to the public, media and policymakers.”