Why No USDA Report Links?

Why No USDA Report Links?

3/20/2014 11:01 AM

Sometimes the small things hit you and you realize that they are rather telling.  A recent example came as the Alliance for Food and Farming prepares for the annual, predictable release of the so-called “dirty dozen” list from the Environmental Working Group.  Here’s what hit us as we were reviewing last year’s “report.”  Nowhere on their website does EWG provide a link to either the USDA Pesticide Data Program report or recent FDA sampling data?  Nowhere.

In media interviews, on its website, on social media, EWG boasts about how their “list” is based upon USDA and FDA data and reports.  Why then wouldn’t you provide easily accessible links directly to those government reports, especially when you repeatedly cite them?  For example, EWG states on their website:  “For the past nine years, EWG has scrutinized pesticide-testing data generated by scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and federal Food and Drug Administration.”

How about trying this:  “For the past nine years, EWG has scrutinized pesticide-testing data generated by scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and federal Food and Drug Administration.”   And, there are many more government mentions and references on the EWG website which means there are multiple opportunities to provide links, including a link to the consumer-friendly document provided by USDA that concisely explains how and why this government program is conducted.  

Could EWG’s reason for not providing links to the government reports be:

a)       Because the government reports say the exact opposite of what EWG claims? 

b)      EWG doesn’t want consumers to see the statements from USDA , EPA and FDA that “residues do not pose a food safety concern.” 

c)       EWG knows even a cursory review of the government data would show their methodology lacks scientific credibility and includes tactics like using years-old data to exaggerate the residue findings.

Our guess is all of the above. But, in the interest of transparency and providing consumers with the “power of information” EWG really should make it easy for people to find the back-up data.  Maybe someone should ask them about it.

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

Leave a Comment …