April 16, 2014

Big Ag doesn’t want you to care about pesticides

by Tom Laskawy
Grist

phpThumb generated thumbnailjpg1 Big Ag doesn’t want you to care about pesticides

Power to the people pesticide industry! Photo from Grist

The produce lobby is livid that consumers might be concerned about pesticides. They are taking their fury out on the USDA for its annual report on pesticide use (via The Washington Post):

In a recent letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, 18 produce trade associations complained that the data have “been subject to misinterpretation by activists, which publicize their distorted findings through national media outlets in a way that is misleading for consumers and can be highly detrimental to the growers of these commodities.”

This report happens also to be the basis for the Environmental Working Group’s popular “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists of fruit and vegetables with the most and least pesticide residues. The produce lobbyists are pretty steamed about those, too:

“There are some organizations with agendas that do want to scare people away from fresh produce,” said Kathy Means, a vice president at the Produce Marketing Association, a major industry group. “We don’t want anyone eating unsafe foods, of course. But for those products that are grown legally and the science says [the pesticide] is safe, we don’t want people turning away.”

Never mind that many consumers want this information. As with labels for genetically modified food, the industry’s position is that ignorance leads to bliss (or at least profits!).

Read the Full Article here: http://www.grist.org/industrial-agriculture/2011-05-16-produce-lobby-doesnt-want-you-to-care-about-pesticides

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