Read Actual USDA Report, Not Re-Interpretation

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Marilyn Dolan or Teresa Thorne

(831) 786-1666

(Watsonville, CA) Last month the United States Department of Agriculture released its annual Pesticide Data Program Report.  Among the USDA findings – “U.S. food does not pose a safety concern based upon pesticide residues.”  In light of activist groups’ annual release of their re-interpretation of the USDA PDP report findings, the Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF) urges the media and consumers to read the government report to see firsthand what it actually says.

“Under the Obama Administration, the USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency clearly and concisely explain in the PDP report how the government and corresponding regulatory processes and systems are protective of all consumers, including infants and children,” says Marilyn Dolan, Executive Director of the AFF.  “However, some groups take these USDA PDP report findings, manipulate the data and turn a positive report about food safety into a negative one.  All we’re asking is that people actually read the USDA PDP report instead of the re-interpretation from activist groups, like the ‘Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce’ and its ‘Dirty Dozen’ list.”

Further, independent scientists who examined the “Shoppers Guide and Dirty Dozen” list found that the methodology used to re-package the government data did not follow any established scientific procedures, that risk was not examined and therefore this list/guide should not be used when making purchasing decisions.  The most recent peer reviewed analysis of the “Shoppers Guide” methodologies appeared in the Journal of Toxicology.

“Manipulation of government data which unfairly undermines consumer confidence about the safety of produce is a detriment to public health, especially when American’s need to include more fruits and vegetables in their daily diets,” Dolan says.  “Families deserve factual, science based and balanced information about the safety of organic and conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, which the Obama Administration provided in the actual PDP report. Why read a questionable re-interpretation when you could just read the real report?” Dolan says.

 The Alliance recommends that consumers who want to improve their health simply follow the advice of health experts everywhere and eat more of both organic and conventionally grown produce.

“For all of us involved in promoting better consumer health, increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables is among our main objectives.  The benefits of consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables are absolutely indisputable. Consumers should eat both organic and conventionally grown produce without worrying about minute levels of pesticide residues,” says Dr. Carl Keen, Professor of Nutrition and Internal Medicine at University of California, Davis.

Consumers who want more information on the safety of organic and conventionally grown fruits and vegetables can visit the safefruitsandveggies.com website.  This website was developed by experts in food safety, toxicology, nutrition, risk analysis and farming.  “We hope consumers visit this site and read, learn and then choose what foods are best for their families,” Dolan explains. 

For consumers who may still be concerned about pesticide residues, they should simply wash their fruits and vegetables.  According to the Federal Food and Drug Administration, you can reduce and often eliminate residues if they are present at all on fresh fruits and vegetables simply by washing. “Washing is a healthful habit and should be used before eating either organic or conventional produce,” Dolan says.

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The Alliance for Food and Farming is a non-profit organization formed in 1989 which represents organic and conventional farmers and farms of all sizes.  Alliance contributors are limited to farmers of fruits and vegetables, companies that sell, market or ship fruits and vegetables or organizations that represent produce farmers.  Our mission is to deliver credible information to consumers about the safety of all fruits and vegetables.  The Alliance does not engage in any lobbying nor do we accept any money or support from the pesticide industry.