Environmental Working Group Doesn’t Like New Farmer Videos

4/11/2012 5:29 PM


It seems the Environmental Working Group doesn’t like our new “Ask the Experts” video section of www.safefruitsandveggies.com.   These videos feature real information about the challenges faced by both organic and conventional farmers when it comes to controlling diseases and pests. In addition to featuring experts in farming, this new section of our website has insights from experts in nutrition.  It’s too bad the EWG isn’t a fan, but, then again – why would they want to hear from experts?  Unlike the tactics employed by EWG, these farmers are not trying to scare people, and they are not trying to raise millions of dollars to fund a smear campaign – these farmers are simply telling people about what they do to make sure the fruits and vegetables they grow are safe, affordable and abundant.  

The response from the EWG to this important message is their usual one –they are distributing information designed to scare consumers by misleading them about the safety of fruits and vegetables.  And they are, once again, misrepresenting the Alliance for Food and Farming.  Not only that, but a new article running in the Huffington Post, titled “Are Pesticide Sprayers "Health Experts?" Seriously?”  is insulting to the farmers.

From the article’s outset the EWG gets it wrong again by saying,  “The Alliance for Food and Farming, or AFF, which has lobbied the U.S. Department of Agriculture to tone down its annual pesticide residue tests on fruits and vegetables, has rolled out short videos in which California farmers answer questions usually reserved for scientists and health experts."

For the record, the Alliance is an information resource only.  Alliance contributors are limited to farmers, farming companies or organizations that represent farmers.  We do not receive money or support from the pesticide industry and we do not engage in lobbying. For full disclosure and transparency, our 2011 tax return is posted on our website.

Secondly, www.safefruitsandveggies.com was developed with the support of experts in toxicology, nutrition, risk assessment and farming and is loaded with credible information about the safety of fruits and vegetables. Consumers can read several important research reports on our site from a host of independent experts, watch videos on the new “Ask the Experts” section and even use a link on that section to ask the experts their own questions.  

And yes, EWG, we do believe fruit and vegetable farmers are experts in what they do -- which is growing the safest, most nutritious foods on the planet.  The Alliance believes that people will find these videos to be an incredibly valuable resource in making decisions about purchasing fruits and vegetables.  From them consumers can will learn facts like:  both organic and conventional farmers use pesticides only as a last resort in their pest and disease control efforts; that both are drastically reducing the use of older, broad-based pesticides by incorporating Integrated Pest Management practices and using safer methods to control pests; and that once the decision is made to use a pesticide – organic and conventional farmers often choose to use the exact same ones.  In fact, according to a recent analysis of pesticide use trends in California – about one-third of all pesticides applied to farms are approved for use in organic farming.   This report also shows a decrease in older, broad-based pesticides of 66 percent in the past twelve years.   

The bottom line is that farmers are doing things much differently than what the EWG would have consumers believe.  It’s time to stop using fear to generate money and, instead focus on helping to increase the consumption of both conventional and organic fruits and vegetables.

We do appreciate the EWG drawing attention to our new website and we urge people to watch these videos for themselves. We also encourage everyone to visit our new Facebook page  to help get more credible information to consumers so they don’t have to rely only on the EWG.  We hope people will like our information better than the EWG does and that visitors will share the real facts with others instead of spreading more fear.       

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