Peer reviewed research published in the Journal of Toxicology found that the recommendation in the “Dirty Dozen” list to substitute organic forms of produce for conventional do not result in any decrease in risk for consumers because residues on conventionally grown are so low, if present at all.
The research also found that the list authors follow no scientifically established methodology in the development of their list.
Further, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Pesticide Data Program (PDP) consistently finds that over 99% of foods sampled had residue levels well below Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) safety standards with 25% having no detectable residues at all. According to the USDA: “Based on the PDP data, consumers can feel confident about eating a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.”
And the EPA states: “EPA is confident that the fruits and vegetables our children are eating are safer than ever. EPA evaluates new and existing pesticides to ensure that they can be used with a reasonable certainty of no harm to infants and children as well as adults. EPA works continually to review and improve safety standards that apply to pesticide residues on food.”
The “Dirty Dozen” list authors admit that their list does not assess risk nor do they apply basic tenets of toxicology in the development of their list. From Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) “Dirty Dozen” report: “The Shoppers Guide does not incorporate risk assessment into the calculations. All pesticides are weighted equally, and we do not factor in the levels deemed acceptable by the EPA.”
Research published in the journal Nutrition Today has also shown that fear-based messaging used by groups like the EWG may result in consumers purchasing less produce – organic or conventionally grown. And, in a survey conducted by the Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF), 94% of registered dietitians agreed that the “Dirty Dozen” messaging negatively impacts their ability to…