Ignore the Scare-Mongering About Pesticides

Every year Earth Day brings out a variety of termites and this year is no different. Lo and behold the so-called Environmental Working Group publishes its fourteenth annual Dirty Dozen list describing which products in your local supermarket’s produce aisle are allegedly contaminated by pesticides. This being done in hopes of you embracing an organic diet.

While the EWG’s pamphlet does get a decent amount of information, fortunately, people seem to have noticed that the list is nothing more than pseudo-scientific fear-mongering financed by Big Organic.

For example, a professor of science and society at McGill University named Joe Schwarcz recently pointed out that the methodology used for the Dirty Dozem report is very problematic.

Schwarcz also states the EWG used research from the Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program and estimated the total amount of different pesticides taken from nationwide samplings. He reveals that this is a portion of the vast amounts of pesticides use on produce around the United States. It is not an indication of dangerous levels of crop contamination.

Beth Swarecki at Lifehacker also weighs in stating not only does she state that the Dirty Dozen list should not only be ignored, but also that organic produce doesn’t always have lower pesticide levels that non-organic fruits and vegetables have.

Forbes science and farming columnist Steve Savage, who also has a background in plant pathology, points out that, because of its climate sensitivity, the strawberry can only be cultivated primarily in California due to the state’s climate and it has the right type of land to grow the fruit. Savage goes on to say that organic strawberries have a very low per-acre yield and because of pesticide residue concerns more organic production is not a good idea.

Finally, the biggest blow to the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list is a column penned by Molecular and Micro Biologist at City College of New York Julianna Lemieux. In her essay, Lemieux states that the claim EWG makes that by eating organic produce people reduce their pesticide consumption by up to 80 percent has no basis in fact. As it turns out, Lemieux states EWG did not measure how much pesticides the average consumer takes in.

The Environmental Working Group has an agenda with its Dirty Dozen scheme. The entire list is a perfectly crafted bulletin that is grounded in fear-mongering. It is also geared to instill a sense of risk and danger when consumers decide to buy foods from the supermarket to help benefit the organic food market over the non-organic one or even to steer people away from produce altogether.

Pesticide residue on fruits and vegetables is not an indication of risk. But chemophobia does help donations come in for Big Organic and makes green-oriented hysteria very profitable.