EWG Dirty Dozen List Includes Potatoes
March 8, 2017
Potatoes are once again listed among the annual “Dirty
Dozen” list of produce containing the most pesticide residues (relative to
other produce). The 2017 “Dirty” list,
published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), is designed as a “Shopper’s
Guide to Pesticides in Produce”.
Potatoes were spotlighted on this year’s “dirty” list
because they are among the products surveyed under the “USDA Pesticide Data
Program”, which is the data set the EWG says it uses to generate their
lists. This program tests pesticide
residues each year on a rotating basket of fresh products which are sampled
from across the United States. All of
the pesticide residues detected on potatoes were well within established
tolerances. The USDA, EPA, and FDA conclude that the pesticide residues
detected in this program do not pose risk to consumers’ health.
Even while highlighting pesticide residues, the EWG
maintains the health benefits of eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits
outweighs the risks of pesticide residue exposure. Only 1 in 20 Americans eat enough fruits and
vegetables each day, according to the Center for Disease Control.
The undesirable consumer image of pesticide residues is a
produce industry issue, not just a potato one.
Groups such as the Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF) help spread the
industry-wide message that studies show the EWG tactics have a negative impact
on consumers who are already consuming too little produce. The AFF’s SafeFruitsandVeggies.com website
provides science-based information as well as a pesticide residue
calculator. For example, a child could
consume 1469 servings of potatoes in one day without any effect, even if the
potatoes have the highest pesticide recorded for potatoes by the USDA.
For more information, please contact Amy Burdett at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-369-7783.