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Daily News Blog

06
May

CR Analysis Finds Pesticide Exposure and Hazards Persist, Despite Availability of Safer Alternatives

Support Consumer Report's (CR) petition and tell EPA / Congress to ban all toxic pesticides when the crop can be produced organically.

(Beyond Pesticides, May 6, 2024) The pattern of failure to protect the public from pesticides is again brought to public attention by an analysis by Consumer Reports (CR) that effectively updates its previous report released in 2020. The report and its earlier iteration identify deep structural weaknesses with the institutions charged with protecting the public’s health and safety. The health risks outlined by CR in 2020 and related to ongoing pesticide exposure, even at low levels, include cardiovascular diseases, cancers, reproductive dysfunction, respiratory problems (e.g., asthma, bronchitis), neurological impacts (e.g., developmental effects and dementia/Alzheimer’s), and endocrine dysfunction, among others. Previously, the magazine reported, “CR’s experts say the government hasn’t upheld its responsibility to protect consumers [and that] the research used to set [pesticide residue] tolerances is imperfect, and they’re often too high.” CR has cited the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is primarily responsible for pesticide regulation, for multiple inadequacies.

According to the latest CR analysis, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Pesticide Data Program (PDP) Annual Summary has once again failed to accurately portray the safety of some of the most commonly sold fruits and vegetables in the United States. CR reviewed seven years of PDP data, finding that 20% of the foods tested pose a “high risk” to the public and 12 specific commodities are so dangerous that children or pregnant people should not eat more than one serving per day. CR’s results are based on Consumer Reports-adjusted reference doses for all pesticides, including those linked to endocrine disruption, as mandated by the Food Quality Protect Act (FQPA) of 1996. As a result, CR is petitioning EPA to cancel the registrations of organophosphate (OP) and carbamate pesticides. 

⬇️ To sign on and support Consumer Report’s petition, please make sure to click the check box at the bottom of the form linked below!

>> Support Consumer Report’s petition and tell EPA / Congress to ban all toxic pesticides when the crop can be produced organically.

EPA’s failure to consider endocrine disruption is only one of many problems with relying on the agency’s tolerances as an indication of acceptable risk of pesticide use. EPA also fails to consider vulnerable population groups, exposure to mixtures, and synergistic interactions in setting allowable food residues. In addition, pesticides contaminate our water and air, hurt biodiversity, harm farmworkers, and kill bees, birds, fish, and other wildlife. 

Notably, USDA certified organic food products are not permitted to be produced with the pesticides identified by the report. Pesticide residues found in organic, with rare exception, are a result of the off-target chemical-intensive agriculture pollution through pesticide drift, water contamination, or background soil residues. Not only is the production of organic food better for human health and the environment than chemical-intensive production, but emerging science reveals also what organic advocates have been saying for a long time—in addition to lacking the toxic residues of conventional foods, organic food is more nutritious and it does not poison the people and contaminate the communities where the food is grown. 

study published by The Organic Center reveals that organic food is higher in certain key areas, such as total antioxidant capacity, total polyphenols, and two key flavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol, all of which are nutritionally beneficial. Another study published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry looks specifically at the total phenolic content of marionberries, strawberries, and corn, and found that organically grown products contain higher total phenolics. Phenolics are important for plant health (defense against insects and diseases), and human health for their “potent antioxidant activity and wide range of pharmacologic properties, including anticancer, antioxidant, and platelet aggregation inhibition activity.”   

In view of the advantages of organic production, EPA must use organic production as the yardstick when weighing risks and benefits of pesticides. No pesticide should be allowed to be used if the crop can be produced organically. 

>> Support Consumer Report’s petition and tell EPA / Congress to ban all toxic pesticides when the crop can be produced organically.

The targets for this Action are the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Congress, with an option to support Consumer Report’s petition.

Letter to the EPA Administrator Michael Regan

According to a new analysis by Consumer Reports (CR), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Pesticide Data Program (PDP) Annual Summary has once again failed to accurately portray the safety of some of the most commonly sold fruits and vegetables in the United States. CR reviewed seven years of PDP data, finding that 20% of the foods tested pose a “high risk” to the public and 12 specific commodities are so dangerous that children or pregnant people should not eat more than one serving per day. CR’s results are based on including endocrine disruption, as mandated by the Food Quality Protect Act (FQPA) of 1996. As a result, CR is petitioning EPA to cancel the registrations of organophosphate (OP) and carbamate pesticides. I support CR’s petition and request that EPA further evaluate pesticides compared to the organic production of crops.

EPA’s failure to consider endocrine disruption is only one of many problems with relying on the agency’s tolerances as an indication of acceptable risk of pesticide use. EPA also fails to consider vulnerable population groups, exposure to mixtures, and synergistic interactions in setting allowable food residues. In addition, pesticides contaminate our water and air, hurt biodiversity, harm farmworkers, and kill bees, birds, fish, and other wildlife.

Notably, USDA certified organic food products are not permitted to be produced with the pesticides identified by the report. Pesticide residues found in organic, with rare exceptions, are a result of the off-target chemical-intensive agriculture pollution through pesticide drift, water contamination, or background soil residues. Not only is the production of organic food better for human health and the environment than chemical-intensive production, but emerging science reveals also what organic advocates have been saying for a long time—in addition to lacking the toxic residues of conventional foods, organic food is more nutritious.

A study published by The Organic Center reveals that organic food is higher in certain key areas, such as total antioxidant capacity, total polyphenols, and two key flavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol, all of which are nutritionally beneficial. Another study published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry looks specifically at the total phenolic content of marionberries, strawberries, and corn, and found that organically grown products contained higher total phenolics. Phenolics are important for plant health (defense against insects and diseases), and human health for their “potent antioxidant activity and wide range of pharmacologic properties including anticancer, antioxidant, and platelet aggregation inhibition activity.”  

In view of the advantages of organic production, EPA must use organic production as the yardstick when weighing risks and benefits of pesticides. No pesticide should be allowed to be used if the crop can be produced organically.

Thank you.

Letter to the U.S. Congress

According to a new analysis by Consumer Reports (CR), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Pesticide Data Program (PDP) Annual Summary has once again failed to accurately portray the safety of some of the most commonly sold fruits and vegetables in the United States. CR reviewed seven years of PDP data, finding that 20% of the foods tested pose a “high risk” to the public and 12 specific commodities are so dangerous that children or pregnant people should not eat more than one serving per day. CR’s results are based on including endocrine disruption, as mandated by the Food Quality Protect Act (FQPA) of 1996. As a result, CR is petitioning EPA to cancel the registrations of organophosphate (OP) and carbamate pesticides. I support CR’s petition and request that EPA further evaluate pesticides compared to the organic production of crops.

EPA’s failure to consider endocrine disruption is only one of many problems with relying on the agency’s tolerances as an indication of acceptable risk of pesticide use. EPA also fails to consider vulnerable population groups, exposure to mixtures, and synergistic interactions in setting allowable food residues. In addition, pesticides contaminate our water and air, hurt biodiversity, harm farmworkers, and kill bees, birds, fish, and other wildlife.

Notably, USDA certified organic food products are not permitted to be produced with the pesticides identified by the report. Pesticide residues found in organic, with rare exceptions, are a result of the off-target chemical-intensive agriculture pollution through pesticide drift, water contamination, or background soil residues. Not only is the production of organic food better for human health and the environment than chemical-intensive production, but emerging science reveals also what organic advocates have been saying for a long time—in addition to lacking the toxic residues of conventional foods, organic food is more nutritious.

A study published by The Organic Center reveals that organic food is higher in certain key areas, such as total antioxidant capacity, total polyphenols, and two key flavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol, all of which are nutritionally beneficial. Another study published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry looks specifically at the total phenolic content of marionberries, strawberries, and corn, and found that organically grown products contained higher total phenolics. Phenolics are important for plant health (defense against insects and diseases), and human health for their “potent antioxidant activity and wide range of pharmacologic properties including anticancer, antioxidant, and platelet aggregation inhibition activity.”  

In view of the advantages of organic production, EPA must use organic production as the yardstick when weighing risks and benefits of pesticides. No pesticide should be allowed to be used if the crop can be produced organically.

Thank you.

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