Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Today USA pesticide-contaminated fruit is apples

Today USA pesticide-contaminated fruit is apples
this day : USA pesticide-contaminated fruit is apples
In the vast majority of cases, residues of the 48 different pesticides the USDA found in its sampling of apples—the nation's most widely consumed fresh fruit after bananas—were within amounts that federal regulators consider safe to eat.
Environmental Working Group has released the seventh edition of its Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce with updated information on 53 fruits and vegetables and their total pesticide loads. EWG highlights the worst offenders with its “Dirty Dozen” list and the cleanest conventional produce with its “Clean 15” list.
Analysts at EWG synthesized data collected from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration from 2000 to 2009. Produce is ranked based on a composite score, equally weighing six factors that reflect how many pesticides was found in testing of on each type of the produce and at what levels. Most samples are washed and peeled prior to being tested, so the rankings reflect the amounts of the chemicals likely present on the food when is it eaten.
Notable changes in the new guide included apples’ rank as the most contaminated produce, jumping three spots from last year to replace celery at the top of the “Dirty Dozen” list. According to USDA, pesticides showed up on 98 percent of the more than 700 apple samples tested.
Its seventh annual report analyzed government data on 53 fruits and vegetables, identifying which have the most and least pesticides after washing and peeling. For produce found to be highest in pesticides, the group recommends buying organic.
Apples moved up three spots from last year, replacing celery at the top of the most-contaminated list; 92% of apples contained two or more pesticides.
"We think what's happening to apples is more pesticides and fungicides are being applied after the harvest so the fruit can have a longer shelf life," says EWG analyst Sonya Lunder. "Pesticides might be in small amounts, but we don't know what the subtle, long-term effects of many of these pesticides are yet."
The worst offenders also include strawberries (No. 3) and imported grapes (No. 7). Onions top the "clean" list, found to be lowest in pesticides.
By choosing five servings of fruit and vegetables a day from the clean list, most people can lower the volume of pesticides they consume daily by 92%, the report says.

"Consumers don't want pesticides on their foods," says EWG president Ken Cook. "We eat plenty of apples in our house, but we buy organic when we can."
Rankings reflect the amounts of chemicals present on food when it is eaten. Most samples were washed and peeled before testing. Washing with a "produce wash" is unlikely to help remove pesticides because they're taken up by the entire plant and reside on more than just the skin, the report says.
For shoppers who cannot afford organic food, which often is more expensive, Cook says the lists offer alternatives. Can't find organic apples? Buy pineapples, the top fruit on the clean list, or avocados or mangoes.
Fewer than 10% of pineapple, mango and avocado samples showed pesticides. For vegetables, asparagus, corn and onions had no detectable residue on 90% or more of samples.
Pesticides are known to be toxic to the nervous system, cause cancer, disrupt hormones and cause brain damage in children. Pregnant women are advised to avoid foods containing pesticides.
A study by Harvard School of Public Health found children exposed to pesticides had a higher risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Lunder says pesticides were measured in six different ways to calculate overall scores:
  1. the percentage of samples tested with detectable pesticides.
  2. the percentage of samples with two or more pesticides.
  3. the Average number of pesticides found on a single sample.
  4. the Average amount (level in parts per million) of all pesticides found.
  5. the Maximum number of pesticides found on a single sample.
  6. the Total number of pesticides found on the commodity.
Eating five servings of fruits and vegetables from the "dirty dozen" list would mean you'd get an average of 14 different pesticides. By choosing five from the clean list, you'd consumer fewer than two pesticides.
"With the increased emphasis on eating more fruits and vegetables, we need to be vigilant about the food we're producing and serving," Lunder says.

While the amount of pesticide on any individual piece of produce might not pose a risk, the group advocates buying organic versions of the fruits and vegetables that pose the highest risks.
"Though buying organic is always the best choice, we know that sometimes people do not have access to that produce or cannot afford it," said Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, in a news release. "Our guide helps consumers concerned about pesticides to make better choices among conventional produce, and lets them know which fruits and vegetables they may want to buy organic."
An official with the Michigan apple industry said that the vast majority of produce tested by the federal government falls within levels considered safe for pesticide residues.
"Just because you can find trace amounts doesn't mean it's unhealthful," said Denise Donohue, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee. "You can detect miniscule amounts of almost anything."
Michigan is the nation's third-largest producer of apples, which support a $700 million industry.
Michigan's wet climate doesn't allow for any significant amount of organic apple farming, Donohue said. Almost all of those grown organically are processed.
The environmental group and agricultural and dietary groups all agree that no matter the risk of trace amounts of pesticides, it's far better to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables than to stop eating them.
Pesticides in unhealthy amounts have been linked to brain and nervous system toxicity, cancer, hormone disruption and skin, eye and lung irritation, according to the environmental group.

source : From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110613/LIFESTYLE05/106130419/Apples-top-list-of-produce-with-most-pesticide-residue#ixzz1PKAeRtJI


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Today USA pesticide-contaminated fruit is apples

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