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Pesticide Alarmists Use Fear To Deceive Consumers

Posted by Jerry De Luca on Sunday, February 11, 2024


The United States Department of Agriculture published their 2024 Pesticide Data Program in January 2024. The research covered the 2022 production period. It may surprise some, especially hysterical alarmists, that "more than 99 percent of the 8,512 fruits and vegetables sampled had residues below the established EPA tolerances. And 27.6 percent had no detectable residue." Some of the media publish outright lies and unsubstantiated hysteria about the alleged harm of pesticides. Fear sells and brings in more clicks, readers and money. The basic reality is that: Both children and adults need to eat HUNDREDS of fruits and vegetables EVERY DAY for there to be even the BAREST POSSIBILITY of harm. Below are three blatant lies pesticide alarmists propagate, as well as the actual harm caused by all the lies.  

Claim: “Nearly 75 percent of non-organic fresh produce sold in the U.S. contains residues of potentially harmful pesticides.” 

Fact: "As described by Dr. Bruce Ames, yes, the Ames of the standard test for genotoxicity, 100% of fresh produce, either organically grown or conventionally, contain pesticides. Dietary pesticides are 99.99 percent natural, as they are chemicals that plants produce to defend themselves. Thousands of these natural pesticides have been discovered; every plant species has perhaps two dozen. Additionally, natural pesticides are measured in parts per thousand or million rather than parts per billion (ppb), used for synthetic pesticides." 

Claim: “Any exposure to pesticides is a problem.”  

Fact: "All pesticides, naturally occurring or synthetic, are inherently hazardous, but this is dependent upon the dose or exposure – a moot point due to the amount of food one must ingest for this to be of concern. Additionally, 'there is a tendency for non-scientists to think of pesticides as only being synthetic and to characterize them as toxic, ignoring the fact that every natural pesticide has a threshold at which it, too, becomes toxic.' For instance, tomatine, a natural chemical found in tomato leaves, stems, and fruit, which protects the tomato from predators, is present at 36 mg per 100 grams of tomato. Still, there is scant evidence that it causes problems." 

Claim: The EWG provides several fruits and vegetables, its annual “Dirty Dozen,” which they consider to be the “most contaminated with pesticides.” Noting that children “are particularly vulnerable to many of the health harms associated with pesticide exposure.” 

Fact: "While it is true that children, because of their lower body weight and still developing physiology, are vulnerable to health harm, it is beyond misleading to suggest that children eating their fruits and vegetables are exposed to any significant risk ...... The obvious takeaway is that fabricated fear, not facts, is being used to manipulate consumer behavior, especially in harm to the children. We are hardwired to respond to fear. Appeals to fear effectively influence attitudes, intentions, and behaviors and rarely are ineffective.  

"EWG and the organic industry know that arousing parental concerns about their children's potential health and safety, regardless of how baseless those fears are, will motivate many parents to adopt the organic message. However, I believe any reasonable person would agree that the USDA safe daily portion serving examples for children should show that our fruits and vegetables are safe and make any reasonable person confident that there is no need to spend roughly 40% more of your already limited food budget on organics." 

Low-income families cannot afford organics, resulting in pesticide fears causing many to drastically reduce their fruit and vegetable intake. Poor health is not the only devastating consequence:  

"The public health consequences of our poor eating habits are significant. Teresa Thorne, Executive Director of the Alliance for Food and Farming, stated in a Sound Bites podcast, 'if only half of all Americans increased their fruit and vegetable intake by ONE serving a day, an estimated 20,000 cancers could be prevented every year. Both organic and conventional production methods yield safe and healthy foods that experts everywhere agree we should all eat more of each day.'” 


If Your Child Can’t Eat More Than 340 Medium Apples Per Day, You Can Skip the Organics                                                                       https://www.acsh.org/news/2024/02/06/if-your-child-can%E2%80%99t-eat-more-340-medium-apples-day-you-can-skip-organics-17625 

Irrational pesticide fears discourage produce consumption and increase cancer risk                                                 https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2020/06/29/viewpoint-irrational-pesticide-fears-discourage-produce-consumption-and-increase-cancer-risk/   

Further Reading 

(Exposure Level) Thresholds                              https://pesticidefacts.org/topics/thresholds/ 

Pesticide Residue Calculator                      https://www.safefruitsandveggies.com/calculator-faq/ 

Don't Believe Everything You Read from EWG About Pesticides on Food https://www.acsh.org/news/2017/04/17/dont-believe-everything-you-read-ewg-about-pesticides-food-11150 

Which Is Worse, Strawberries or Norovirus? EWG Thinks the Former https://www.acsh.org/news/2017/03/09/which-worse-strawberries-or-norovirus-ewg-thinks-former-10977 

Organic Vs. Conventional Produce: Organic Doesn't Equal Better https://www.acsh.org/news/2014/01/30/organic-vs-conventional-produce-organic-doesnt-equal-better 

Related Posts 

The Dose Makes the Poison:  19 Examples Alarmists Want Hushed http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2017/03/the-dose-makes-poison-19-examples.html        

14 Simple Ways to Evaluate Potential Health Misinformation https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2023/04/14-simple-ways-to-evaluate-potential.html         

17 Concise Health and Wellness Fallacies Every Consumer Should Know https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2022/10/17-concise-health-and-wellness.html    

Food Babe Exposed for Her Lies About the Herbicide Glyphosate https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2023/05/food-babe-exposed-for-her-lies-about.html   

Prove It! 7 Simple & Basic Rules for Evaluating EVIDENCE!   https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2022/04/prove-it-7-simple-basic-rules-for.html  

Photo: https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2020/06/29/viewpoint-irrational-pesticide-fears-discourage-produce-consumption-and-increase-cancer-risk/  

Jerry De Luca is a Christian freelance writer who loves perusing dozens of interesting and informative publications. When he finds any useful info he summarizes it, taking the main points, and creates a (hopefully) helpful blog post.


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