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Viewpoint: Pesticide soaked strawberries? Why you shouldn’t pay attention to Environmental Working Group’s ‘fear-mongering’

| | April 26, 2018
Image credit: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

It’s springtime which means it is time for the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to send the media into a frenzy with its annual release of the “dirty dozen” conventionally produced fruits or vegetables that contain the greatest variety of pesticide residues. The implication is that these should be shunned in favour of their organic versions.

This year’s winner, or better put, loser, is the strawberry, with twenty-two different pesticide residues being detected!

EWG carries out no analyses itself. Its researchers mine data from the United States Department of Agriculture’s “Pesticide Data Program” that randomly tests a large variety of fruits and vegetables every year for residues.

Related article:  Scared to Death: Environmental Working Group fails the 'sound science' chemicals test

Yes, some pesticide residues are detected, thanks to the talents of analytical chemists and their sophisticated instruments. Remember, though, that the presence of a residue is not equal to the presence of risk! EWG does not look at the amount of residue, because that is not conducive to raising alarm. Why not? Because there are virtually no cases in which the levels deemed to be safe are exceeded. Raising alarm is profitable because that is what keeps donations coming in so that more such exemplary work can be carried out.

Read full, original post: Strawberry Fields Forever (With or Without Pesticides)

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