Mar 9, 2017
EWG releases ‘Dirty Dozen’ list despite low consumption rates

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released its latest “Dirty Dozen” list.

“In light of new science and information about how safety fears are impacting low income consumers, it is concerning that EWG still releases a ‘dirty dozen’ list in 2017,” said Teresa Thorne, executive director of the Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF).

Fruit and vegetable consumption rates remain low and peer reviewed studies show that safety fears about pesticide residues result in low income consumers saying they would be less likely to purchase any produce, organic or conventional, according to a statement from AFF.

Recent peer reviewed research by the Illinois Institute of Technology’s (IIT) Center for Nutrition Research and published in Nutrition Today found that EWG’s messaging which describes certain fruits and vegetables as having “higher” pesticide residues results in low income shoppers reporting that they would be less likely to purchase any fruits and vegetables – organic or non-organic. The IIT scientists surveyed 510 low income consumers in the Chicago area to learn more about what terms and information about fruits and vegetables may influence their shopping intentions.

“In addition to this recent research, the other important reason that we remain frustrated that EWG continues to use this decades-old tactic is that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that only one in 10 Americans eat enough fruits and veggies each day,” Thorne said. “This CDC statistic is especially concerning since decades of nutritional research shows that increasing consumption of conventional and organic produce can improve health and prevent diseases, like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.”

The U.S. Apple Association also released a statement regarding EWG’s list.

“Any report that tells people to avoid eating apples is giving harmful advice,” said Jim Bair, USApple president and CEO. “Instead, we should be more concerned with increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables. And USApple is not alone in this. The American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Dietary Guidelines for Americans, all say eat more fruit.”





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