Decades of Science Supports Our Message

10/24/2016 10:38 AM

“Credible science is science that has the overwhelming body of evidence on its side.”  Shawn Otto author of “War on Science.”

This statement really resonates for those of us working to communicate facts and information about the safety of organic and conventional produce.  Especially since the “overwhelming body of evidence” supports the message that consumers should eat more fruits and vegetables every day for better health - both are very safe and can be eaten with confidence.  This simple statement is supported by decades of both peer reviewed nutritional studies (largely conducted with conventionally grown produce) and toxicology studies which verify the findings of the USDA Pesticide Data Program report: “Pesticide residues do not pose a safety concern for U.S. consumers.”

Yet this overwhelming scientific evidence is often forgotten or ignored when safety fears are raised based upon unproven, inaccurate claims by activist groups.  This tactic is often employed to promote one produce production method over the other. 

But there is growing evidence that consumers are the ones being hurt by disparaging, fear based messaging about fruits and vegetables.  Two peer reviewed studies from the John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and the Illinois Institute of Technology, Center for Nutrition Research found that this type of messaging may result in low income consumers being less likely to eat healthier or purchase any produce – organic or conventionally grown.

Specifically, the Illinois Institute of Technology study found that misleading messaging which inaccurately describes certain fruits and vegetables as having “higher” pesticide residues results in low income shoppers reporting that they would be unlikely to purchase any fruits and vegetables – organically or non-organically grown.

The overwhelming evidence supporting the safety of all produce and the need to eat more each day for better health combined with the growing evidence that these unfounded safety claims may be negatively impacting low income consumers should be enough for activist groups and others to abandon their tactic of disparaging the only food group health experts agree we should consume more of every day.  If they are interested in credible science or improving public health, the answer would seem clear.

Read, learn, choose but eat more organic and conventional produce every day for better health and a longer life.

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