"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." http://bit.ly/oB2EeN
The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a not-for-profit organisation based in the US, is dedicated to protecting public health and the environment.
The EWG recently published their “dirty dozen” list for pesticides because they firmly believe that the public has a right to know what their research reveals.
Celery, according to the EWG, once at the top of the list, has been bumped by apples. Celery, strawberries and imported grapes are also high on the list, while onions top their clean list.
"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." http://bit.ly/oB2EeN
Joe Schwarcz, director of McGill University's Office for Science and Society, says that only 2.6 per cent of tests detected residue from pesticides and according to Schwarcz, “the presence of a residue does not equate to the presence of risk”. http://bit.ly/jTGZTe
Dr. Melina Jampolis, a disease prevention Physician Nutrition Specialist, consulted Anne Riederer, adjunct assistant professor of environmental health at Emory University and learned that many pesticides are neurotoxicants (damage the brain). Pregnant women and young children are particularly vulnerable. However, there are potentially other culprits such as sprays used in the home, cleaners, dust, among others. According to Jampolis, pesticide exposure may increase the risk of disease, but the levels at which this happens are unknown at this time. Pregnant women and mothers of young children may want to seriously consider organic fruits and vegetables. Jampolis notes that although at a less frequent rate, pesticides have been found in foods labelled organic. HOWEVER, fruits and vegetables remain an extremely important part of a healthy diet, mind, and body. http://bit.ly/j0vrPu
According to Schwarcz, “fearmongering is an apt description of EWG's release of its Dirty Dozen fruits and vegetables” and “a dose of perspective about pesticide residues will keep the Environmental Working Group's fearmongering at bay”. Schwarcz asks if any of the EWG tests found any residue in excess of the Environmental Protection Agency's carefully established maximum tolerance level. http://bit.ly/jTGZTe
Environmental health and autism experts have noted a sharp rise in autism and are suggesting that it may the result of the toxic chemical cocktails pregnant women, fetuses, babies and young children encounter. They are now seeking “a reform of the outdated U.S. law regulating chemicals, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976”. http://bit.ly/lSNmsX
One of the EWG’s goals is “protect the most vulnerable segments of the human population children, babies, and infants in the womb from health problems attributed to a wide array of toxic contaminants”.
There appear to be many unanswered questions and the world is ever changing. We may not get all the answers, we may never be able to control the outcomes, we may be having difficulty sifting through all the information, we may be playing catch-up as a result of being bombarded with so many “facts” and “opinions”, we may not worry, we may worry too much, but the one constant is that we have the right to know. The time has come for consumers and patients to become empowered, and that can only come from knowledge.
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