Pesticides in your veggies? Yes, but agribusiness backed group says no worries

Back in April, the Environmental Working Group came out with their 2010 list of the most pesticide-laden fruits and veggies 

Now, according to The Atlantic, an agribusiness- backed group called the Alliance  for Food and Farming is apparently working to smear the findings of the EWG’s report. And they’re doing so with a $180,000 grant  from the USDA!

 According to a reputable online watch group called SourceWatch,, the Alliance’s board of directors is made up of folks from groups like the California Strawberry Commission, the California Tomato Farmers, the Produce Marketing Association, and the California Association of Pest Control Advisors. These are the big guns of the ag industry.

Interestingly the Alliance for Food and Farming’s website says it “was formed in 1989 and currently has a membership of approximately 50 agricultural groups representing a wide range of organizations including commodity boards, major farm groups and individual grower/shippers.”

The 2010 Shoppers Guide for Pesticides gives consumers the good and the "bad" options

For a group as old as that to have only around 50 members and of that scope raises a red flag.

But I digress.

The Alliance says that the “Dirty Dozen” list of fruits and veggies “actually makes the work of improving the diets of Americans more difficult because it scares consumers away from the affordable fruits and vegetables that they enjoy.”

Bear in mind that the EPA has stated that “pesticides can cause health problems, such as birth defects, nerve damage, cancer, and other effects.” Add that to the fact that the EWG isn’t telling folks not to eat veggies in its Shoppers Guide to Pesticides. It clearly states that consumers should avoid produce with the most pesticides and choose from the “clean” list instead.

It’s not complicated. Or misleading.

But where there are folks who talk straight in an industry noted for throwing big money behind “spin”, it’s no wonder that agribusiness is fighting back. After all, tossing out misinformation seems to be a favorite American pastime. And with obesity at an epidemic level here in the U.S., to hide behind the campaign for healthy food in order to keep market share just makes sense, right?

Definitely important to get ALL the facts. The statement “buyer beware” has never been more true. We should add to that “buyer educate yourself before buying!”


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