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Organic Consumers Association

Consumer Alert: Beware of Pesticide Contamination of Non-Organic Foods

  • 'Dirty Dozen' produce carries more pesticide residue, group says
    By Danielle Dellorto
    CNN, June 1, 2010
    Straight to the Source

If you're eating non-organic celery today, you may be ingesting 67 pesticides with it, according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group.

The group, a nonprofit focused on public health, scoured nearly 100,000 produce pesticide reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to determine what fruits and vegetables we eat have the highest, and lowest, amounts of chemical residue.

Most alarming are the fruits and vegetables dubbed the "Dirty Dozen," which contain 47 to 67 pesticides per serving. These foods are believed to be most susceptible because they have soft skin that tends to absorb more pesticides.

"It's critical people know what they are consuming," the Environmental Working Group's Amy Rosenthal said. "The list is based on pesticide tests conducted after the produce was washed with USDA high-power pressure water system. The numbers reflect the closest thing to what consumers are buying at the store."

Special report: Toxic America

The group suggests limiting consumption of pesticides by purchasing organic for the 12 fruits and vegetables.

"You can reduce your exposure to pesticides by up to 80 percent by buying the organic version of the Dirty Dozen," Rosenthal said.

The Dirty Dozen

Celery

Peaches

Strawberries

Apples

Domestic blueberries

Nectarines

Sweet bell peppers

Spinach, kale and collard greens

Cherries

Potatoes

Imported grapes

Lettuce


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