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Organic Consumers Association

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Here Are the ‘Dirty Dozen’ Fruit and Vegetables Laced With Legal Pesticides — Even Organics Have Traces

Raisins are surprise offenders this year with neurotoxic insecticide chlorpyrifos, which some research has shown can harm the nervous system in children

Nearly 70% of the fresh produce sold in the U.S. contains residues of legal though potentially harmful chemical pesticides even in small amounts, and a popular snack for children is another big offender.

Among the top choices to limit exposure to pesticides? Avocados, asparagus and honeydew melon.

The analysis comes from the Environmental Working Group. Each year since 2004 it has ranked its Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists and combines them as a shopper’s guide for consumers. The “dirtiest” of all is not a fresh fruit or vegetable, but a dried one — raisins. Raisins weren’t ranked on the fresh lists but their surprising results caught the attention of EWG.

Toxicologists and other researchers at EWG compare the pesticide contamination of 47 popular conventional — meaning not farmed organically — fruits and vegetables. The review is based on the results of tests by the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration of more than 43,000 samples of produce.

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