For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
- Most conventionally grown produce contains pesticides, EWG’s guide lists low- and high-residue foods
- Recent studies suggest eating high-pesticide produce can affect fertility
WASHINGTON – All adults and children should eat more fruits and vegetables, whether they are organic or conventionally grown. With EWG’s 2018 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™, you can choose healthy produce while minimizing unwanted doses of multiple toxic pesticides.
Many shoppers don’t realize that pesticide residues are common on conventionally grown produce, even after it is carefully washed or peeled. EWG’s analysis of the most recent tests by the Department of Agriculture found that nearly 70 percent of samples of conventionally grown produce were contaminated with pesticide residues.
The USDA tests found a total of 230 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on the thousands of produce samples analyzed. EWG’s analysis of the tests shows that there are stark differences among various types of produce. The Shopper’s Guide lists the Dirty Dozen™ fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residues, and the Clean Fifteen™, for which few, if any, residues were detected.
Key findings from this year’s guide:
- More than one-third of strawberry samples analyzed in 2016 contained 10 or more pesticide residues and breakdown products.
- More than 98 percent of samples of strawberries, peaches, potatoes, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide.
- Spinach samples had, on average, almost twice as much pesticide residue by weight compared to any other crop.
- Avocados and sweet corn were the cleanest. Less than 1 percent of samples showed any detectable pesticides.
- More than 80 percent of pineapples, papayas, asparagus, onions and cabbages had no pesticide residues.
- No single fruit sample from the Clean Fifteen tested positive for more than four pesticides.
- Dirty Dozen – EWG’s 2018 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™
- Environmental Working Group (EWG)