Alliance for Food and Farming Responds to Dirty Dozen List
FRESNO, CA - The Alliance for Food and Farming has responded to some misconceptions that were released by an activist group about eating non-organic fruits and vegetables in a produce list they call the “dirty dozen.” Scientific, peer reviewed studies show the opposite.
"Since only one in 10 Americans eat enough fruits and vegetables each day, it is important to promote consumption and support public health efforts to encourage healthier diets instead of creating unnecessary fears about eating non-organic fruits and vegetables, which are wholesome, safe, and more affordable," said Teresa Thorne, Executive Director.
According to a statement released through the California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA), peer reviewed studies show this list's recommendations are not scientifically supportable while other studies show it may negatively impact consumers since it discourages purchasing of any produce - organic or conventional. Some key studies about produce safety and nutrition include:
- A study specifically examined the risk/benefit of consuming a diet rich in conventionally grown produce and pesticide residue exposure. That study determined that if half of all Americans increased their consumption of fruit and vegetables by a single serving each day, 20,000 cancer cases could be prevented each year. The study authors concluded that the overwhelming difference between benefit and risk estimates provides confidence that consumers should not be concerned about cancer risks from consuming conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.
- Peer reviewed research has shown that the author's "dirty dozen" list recommendation to substitute organic forms of produce for conventional forms did not result in a decrease in consumer risk, because residues are so low on conventionally grown produce, if present at all. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Pesticide Data Program(PDP) and the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) residue sampling program both found that more than 99 percent of the produce sampled had residues far below Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) safety levels, if present at all.
- The USDA stated in their report summary: "Based on the PDP data, consumers can feel confident about eating a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables."
- An analysis conducted by toxicologists with the University of California's Personal Chemical Exposure Program found a child could eat hundreds to thousands of servings of a fruit or vegetable in a day and still not have any health effects from residues. For kale, a woman could eat 18,615 servings in a day and a child could consume 7,446 servings.
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