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Old 04-15-2016, 12:40 PM   #11
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Tenspeed:

EWG's publication of reports lacking in scientific credibility has been widely reported. However, it seems to be a pretty good business model for its founder and president, Ken Cook, whose annual salary in 2006 was $192,000 (source: Wikipedia).

It is unfortunate that their reports get repeated by the media without even a cursory check as to their credibility.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:41 PM   #12
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Creative's e-mail to EWG and their response:

Here is the reply from EWG - the research group that found the high pesticide residues in the fruit and veg that I linked on the OP. They take their info from USDA (US Dept. of Agriculture)! The 2nd link below describes these findings more directly.

The EWG's Shopper's Guide™ is not built on a complex assessment of pesticide risks but instead reflects the overall pesticide loads of common fruits and vegetables. This approach best captures the uncertainties about the risks and consequences of pesticide exposure. Since researchers are constantly developing new insights into how pesticides act on living organisms, no one can say that concentrations of pesticides assumed today to be safe are, in fact, harmless.

In the link below, it gives more details on its findings AND also lists the "clean 15" fruit and veg least likely to hold pesticide residues.

http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php


http://www.localharvest.org/blog/486...usda_s_the_new
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:42 PM   #13
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Tenspeed:

The source of the data used by EWG is indicated in the second sentence in the article I linked. No revelations here.

According to the same linked article, "Only one of the 120 exposure estimates exceeded 1% of the RfD (methamidophos on bell peppers at 2% of the RfD), and only seven exposure estimates (5.8 percent) exceeded 0.1% of the RfD. Three quarters of the pesticide/commodity combinations demonstrated exposure estimates below 0.01% of the RfD (corresponding to exposures one million times below chronic No Observable Adverse Effect Levels from animal toxicology studies), and 40.8% had exposure estimates below 0.001% of the RfD." I would not categorize those as "high pesticide residues", as you apparently do.

As previously pointed out, they are an advocacy group, not a research group.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:44 PM   #14
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GotGarlic:

It's not that hard to do a research project like that. You feed pesticides to mice, rats and/or monkeys and see how they react. Since their lifetimes are much shorter than people's, they can see any effects that might occur over their lifetime. That's what real researchers do to test these substances.

Maybe you missed this in tenspeed's previous post. According to a peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Toxicology: "the methodology used by the environmental advocacy group [EWG] to rank commodities with respect to pesticide risks lacks scientific credibility."
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:53 PM   #15
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Creative:

...I accept that the methodology used by EWG is flawed HOWEVER there is no getting away from USDA's findings on pesticides!
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:54 PM   #16
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GotGarlic:

The writer of that article incorrectly attributed the EWG's report to the USDA. The USDA does not have a "dirty dozen" list. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) establishes acceptable, SAFE levels of pesticide residues and the USDA tests foods to make sure the residues are below those levels. The EWG simply took that information, wrote down the ones that had the highest residues - EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE FAR BELOW LEVELS THAT COULD CAUSE HARM - and called them the "dirty dozen." This is what they call "research."

Have you ever heard that the dose makes the poison? A tiny amount of a substance can have no effect on an organism, while a lot more can cause problems. This is not nitpicking; this is how toxicology works. The amounts of the pesticide residues are not harmful. That was the point of the article in the Journal of Toxicology. You might understand all this better if you would read it.

Here's the abstract:
Quote:
Probabilistic techniques were used to characterize dietary exposure of consumers to pesticides found in twelve commodities implicated as having the greatest potential for pesticide residue contamination by a United States-based environmental advocacy group. Estimates of exposures were derived for the ten most frequently detected pesticide residues on each of the twelve commodities based upon residue findings from the United States Department of Agriculture's Pesticide Data Program. All pesticide exposure estimates were well below established chronic reference doses (RfDs). Only one of the 120 exposure estimates exceeded 1% of the RfD (methamidophos on bell peppers at 2% of the RfD), and only seven exposure estimates (5.8 percent) exceeded 0.1% of the RfD. Three quarters of the pesticide/commodity combinations demonstrated exposure estimates below 0.01% of the RfD (corresponding to exposures one million times below chronic No Observable Adverse Effect Levels from animal toxicology studies), and 40.8% had exposure estimates below 0.001% of the RfD. It is concluded that (1) exposures to the most commonly detected pesticides on the twelve commodities pose negligible risks to consumers, (2) substitution of organic forms of the twelve commodities for conventional forms does not result in any appreciable reduction of consumer risks, and (3) the methodology used by the environmental advocacy group to rank commodities with respect to pesticide risks lacks scientific credibility.
I'm pretty sure you think that *any* exposure is toxic, but that is simply not true. Two aspirin can take care of a headache, but 50 can be fatal.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:55 PM   #17
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Creative:

OK well thanks for clearing that up! I did think it odd that USDA might have used that phrase ("dirty dozen").
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:55 PM   #18
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GotGarlic:

In a lot of cases, synthetic pesticides are safer for people than organic ones. They work better because scientists learned more about insect metabolism and so were able to develop pesticides that only affect specific insects. They don't affect people at all because we don't have the same metabolic pathways, or even all of the same body parts. Because of this, farmers can use less total pesticides than they used to have to do.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:56 PM   #19
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Tenspeed:

Debunking widely disseminated misinformation is a good thing. Many of those lists appearing on MSN's page are poorly researched, if at all. It is unfortunate that they aren't checked, which is why I don't take them too seriously.

I read a number of the linked articles in the thread that drifted into organic food and GMOs, and they were quite informative. Certainly changed my opinion of them.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:58 PM   #20
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CraigC:

I think that there are folks, called lobbyists, that have great influence (MONEY) on many USDA findings. I, like many others, have been called to jury duty several times. Once you are assigned to a court room, the lawyers, for both sides, in criminal cases are allowed to ask each person questions to determine if they want them on the actual jury. I was once asked who makes the laws in this country? My reply was lobbyists. The room erupted in laughter and I was not selected.

...

I was just making a general observation, that even if they were actual USDA findings, they might be tainted with lobbyist influence.
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