AFF Letter to EWG

10/29/2014 2:15 PM

Today, the Alliance For Food and Farming sent a letter to Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook requesting they discontinue their annual release of the so-called "dirty dozen" list.  This request comes following EWG's statement that organic and conventional produce are best foods for consumers and that organization's new and strongly worded recommendation about the need for increased consumption of all fruits and vegetables - whether they are organically or conventionally grown.  Here is the letter to EWG in its entirety.

Mr. Cook:

We noted your organization’s acknowledgment in the “Food Scores” database that both conventional and organic fruits and vegetables should be considered best food choices for consumers.  We also saw the Environmental Working Group’s new and very strong statement concerning the need to increase daily produce consumption for most Americans now posted on your website. 

As you are well aware, our organization, the Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF), has repeatedly requested that you discontinue the publication of your annual “dirty dozen” list because it is misleading to consumers, is not peer-reviewed and is not based on real risk.  The conventional and organic fruit and vegetable farmers we represent produce a very safe product that experts around the world agree we should all be eating more of for better health.  In addition, the USDA, FDA and EPA all clearly state that residues do not pose a food safety concern.  

For these reasons, along with EWG’s new and strong acknowledgement of the health and safety of conventional produce, the AFF renews its call for your organization to end your annual release of the “dirty dozen” list. While there is still much information to come with respect to the validity and credibility of your new “Food Scores” report, we are pleased to see that, for produce, this new report supports decades of nutritional studies showing the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables – regardless of whether they are organic or conventional. We are sure you would agree that it is illogical for your organization to urge consumers to eat more conventional produce while simultaneously mislabeling these safe and healthy foods “dirty,” “toxic laden,” and “contaminated” among other things.

Therefore we ask you to stop unfairly disparaging conventionally grown fruits and vegetables with your annual “dirty dozen” list release.  Instead, please continue on the positive path you’ve established with your new statement urging increased consumption. That is the right message for consumers and also meets your organization’s stated objective to “empower people to live healthier lives.”

We look forward to hearing from you regarding your future intentions for the so-called “dirty dozen” list. 

Sincerely,

 

Marilyn Dolan, Executive Director

Alliance for Food and Farming

 

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