Consumer Reports Finds Unhealthy Pesticide Levels In 20% Of US Produce

"Consumer Reports recently conducted its most comprehensive review of pesticides in 59 US fruits and vegetables. Here the organization shares what it found".

"When it comes to healthy eating, fruits and vegetables reign supreme. But along with all their vitamins, minerals and other nutrients can come something else: an unhealthy dose of dangerous pesticides.

Though using chemicals to control bugs, fungi and weeds helps farmers grow the food we need, it’s been clear since at least the 1960s that some chemicals also carry unacceptable health risks. And although certain notorious pesticides, such as DDT, have been banned in the US, government regulators have been slow to act on others. Even when a dangerous chemical is removed from the market, chemical companies and growers sometimes just start using other options that may be as dangerous.

Consumer Reports, which has tracked the use of pesticides on produce for decades, has seen this pattern repeat itself over and over. “It’s two steps forward and one step back – and sometimes even two steps back,” says James E Rogers, who oversees food safety at Consumer Reports.

To get a sense of the current situation, Consumer Reports recently conducted our most comprehensive review ever of pesticides in food. To do it, we analyzed seven years of data from the US Department of Agriculture, which each year tests a selection of conventional and organic produce grown in or imported to the US for pesticide residues. We looked at 59 common fruits and vegetables, including, in some cases, not just fresh versions but also canned, dried or frozen ones."

Catherine Roberts reports for Consumer Reports with graphics by Aliya Uteuova April 18, 2024.

Source: Consumer Reports, 04/19/2024