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Daily News Blog

15
Oct

Take Action: Tell Kroger to Stop Selling Food Grown with Toxic Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, October 15, 2018) As a leader in organic sales, it is critical that Kroger take additional expedited steps to increase the market share of organic food and eliminate the use of toxic pesticides harmful to public health and the environment. Kroger is among the major food retailers that sells food that has been grown with toxic pesticides, such as the extremely hazardous insecticide chlorpyrifos which causes neurological and brain damage in children. Kroger should immediately end its misleading and fraudulent advertising and labeling of food products as “natural” and replace these with certified organic products. In fact, by misleading consumers with “natural” labeling and advertising of food, Kroger supports chemical-intensive agriculture that poisons children, causes cancer, and threatens biodiversity through the use of toxic chemicals like chlorpyrifos, glyphosate, and neonicotinoids. This is unnecessary and unacceptable.

Tell Kroger to stop selling food grown with toxic pesticides.

Chlorpyrifos  is a highly neurotoxic organophosphate pesticide that is linked to neurologic developmental disorders in children. Exposure to even low levels of organophosphates like chlorpyrifos during pregnancy impairs learning, changes brain function, and alters thyroid levels of offspring into adulthood. EPA’s own assessment finds that children exposed to high levels of chlorpyrifos have developmental delays, attention problems, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder problems, and pervasive developmental disorders, and concluded that there is “sufficient evidence” that there are neurodevelopmental effects at low levels, and that current approaches for evaluating chlorpyrifos’ neurological impact are “not sufficiently health protective.” Yet, EPA reversed the ban based on the judgment of its own scientists and when ordered by the courts to reinstate the ban, appealed.

As documented by International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2015, glyphosate causes cancer. IARC classifies glyphosate as a Group 2A “probable” carcinogen, which means that the chemical is probably carcinogenic to humans based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. It has been specifically linked to non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) and multiple myeloma. Glyphosate disrupts a crucial pathway for manufacturing aromatic amino acids in plants and bacteria, and has been patented as an antibiotic. The destruction of bacteria in the human gut is a major contributor to disease, and the destruction of soil microbiota leads to unhealthy agricultural systems with an increasing dependence on agricultural chemicals.

Kroger has already announced that it will phase out the sale of live garden plants grown with neonicotinoid insecticides. In a press release in June 2018, Kroger said, “Kroger also offers one of the largest organic produce departments in America, which is desirable for customers seeking to minimize potential exposure to synthetic pesticides. Representing nearly 20 percent of America’s annual organic produce business, Kroger sales in this sector reached $1 billion in 2017.”

Given Kroger’s existing commitment to offering organic food, it is reasonable to ask the company to commit to substituting organic products for those that deceptively portrayed as “natural” and “free from 101+ artificial ingredients and preservatives,” but are grown with and have residues of hazardous pesticides.

Tell Kroger to stop selling food grown with toxic pesticides.

Letter to Kroger:

Thank you for your leadership in the sales of organic produce. I appreciate stores that stock organic food, which is healthier for me, the farmers who grow it, and the environment. It is important that stores where I shop not only offer organic food, but clearly distinguish it from food produced by chemical-intensive agriculture

Although Kroger’s stores offer many organic products, they also sell many products –especially those with the “Simple Truth” label—that mislead the consumer through their representation as “natural” and “free from 101+ artificial ingredients and preservatives.” Unfortunately, those “natural” and “free from” products are produced by a chemical-intensive agriculture that uses toxic pesticides and fertilizers. The chemical used on such nonorganic farms poison children, cause cancer, and threaten biodiversity. Chemical-intensive agriculture uses toxic chemicals like chlorpyrifos, glyphosate, and neonicotinoids.

Chlorpyrifos  is a highly neurotoxic organophosphate pesticide that is linked to neurologic developmental disorders in children. Exposure to even low levels of organophosphates like chlorpyrifos during pregnancy impairs learning, changes brain function, and alters thyroid levels of offspring into adulthood. EPA’s own assessment finds that children exposed to high levels of chlorpyrifos have developmental delays, attention problems, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder problems, and pervasive developmental disorders, and concluded that there is “sufficient evidence” that there are neurodevelopmental effects at low levels, and that current approaches for evaluating chlorpyrifos’ neurological impact are “not sufficiently health protective.” Yet, EPA reversed the ban based on the judgment of its own scientists and when ordered by the courts to reinstate the ban, appealed.

As documented by International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2015, glyphosate causes cancer. IARC classifies glyphosate as a Group 2A “probable” carcinogen, which means that the chemical is probably carcinogenic to humans based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals.  It has been specifically linked to non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) and multiple myeloma. Glyphosate disrupts a crucial pathway for manufacturing aromatic amino acids in plants and bacteria, and glyphosate has been patented as an antibiotic. The destruction of bacteria in the human gut is a major contributor to disease, and the destruction of soil microbiota leads to unhealthy agricultural systems with an increasing dependence on agricultural chemicals.

Kroger has already announced that it will phase out the sale of live garden plants grown with neonicotinoid insecticides. In a press release in June 2018, Kroger said, “Kroger also offers one of the largest organic produce departments in America, which is desirable for customers seeking to minimize potential exposure to synthetic pesticides. Representing nearly 20 percent of America’s annual organic produce business, Kroger sales in this sector reached $1 billion in 2017.”

Given Kroger’s existing commitment to offering organic food, I ask you to commit to substituting organic products for those with the misleading portrayal as “natural” and “free from 101+ artificial ingredients and preservatives,” but are grown with and have residues of hazardous pesticides.

Thank you. I look forward to your response.

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