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The EWG also comes up with a list of the Clean Fifteen — fruits and vegetables with the least pesticide residues. The EWG notes also that “since 2012, the American Academy of Pediatricians Council on Environmental Health has emphasized that children’s exposure to pesticides should be as limited as possible because pesticide exposure during pregnancy and early childhood increases the risk of brain tumors, leukemia, neurodevelopmental defects, and other adverse birth outcomes.” The data the EWG analyzed is the result of tests conducted by the government, in which they found the residues of 225 different pesticides on fruits and vegetables that Americans eat every day, but note that the risk of consuming pesticide residue isn’t assessed by the government.
Why This Matters:Experts still recommend that you eat more fruits and veggies despite these pesticide residues. Fresh and whole (rather than processed) fruits and vegetables are essential to a good diet. I (Monica) was surprised that the foods tested had been thoroughly washed and peeled, just as consumers would prepare food at home. So it is concerning. Even foods labeled as “organic” may have pesticide residues — so they may be better but it is not a guarantee. Eating more of the clean dozen will definitely minimize exposure. What we really need is for the government to do more testing on these pesticides to determine whether our exposure to them should be limited or certain pesticides should be banned (see our story yesterday about Roundup). Congress in 2016 revised the law governing the use of toxic chemicals, and the EPA announced yesterday that in compliance with this law it is doing expanded testing on 20 “high priority” chemicals. But whether they will take a hard look at those top priority toxins, much less expand the list to look at the pesticides that come up most often in the Agriculture Department tests, is doubtful.
To Go Deeper: You can read the full EWG Report here. And there is an excellent book (Rachel Carson winner for the best environmental book of 2018) called Whitewash that investigated the efforts by Monsanto to keep the evidence of the cancer link to its product Roundup out of the news.
Why This Matters: The fact that Bayer is likely to get approval for this new crop, which would be resistant to the active chemical in Roundup, suggests that the losses in court had and will continue to have little impact on the company’s trajectory. Just because these herbicides won’t “harm” GE corn does not mean they won’t harm us.
As Pride Month has come to a close, we wanted to recognize members of the LGBTQ+ community who are breaking down barriers — gastronomic and cultural. Earlier this week a blog on Ecowatch.com called Food Tank spotlighted 24 collectives, farms, and other organizations that are working to strengthen LGBTQ+ representation in the food system, which […]
With supermarkets running low on meat, seafood is a healthy option, and sales of frozen seafood like shrimp and canned seafood (much of which is imported) are up over last year, according to some retailers. Most of the domestic seafood landed and sold in the U.S. comes from small fishing businesses and goes to restaurants and those sales are down as much as 95% across the country.
Why This Matters: Congress provided $300m for fishers in stimulus funding, but it is only a “drop in the bucket” of what is needed to keep fishers afloat said Alaskan commercial fisher Julie Decker on Tuesday at a forum convened by the Ocean Caucus Foundation.
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