Alliance campaign refutes ‘Dirty Dozen’ list
By Tom Karst
The Alliance for Food and Farming is planning a media campaign to provide a science-based perspective on the issue produce and pesticide residues.
Marilyn Dolan, executive director of the Watsonville, Calif., group, said it formed in the wake of the Alar issue in the early 1990s and has a long history of dealing with the issue.
Media messages about pesticides and produce have become more pervasive in recent years and the group’s board of directors believes a more active response is needed, she said.
“Our research is beginning to show that consumers are stopping and reducing the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables because of their concern about pesticide residues,” Dolan said.
Recent research has shown as much as 90% of consumers are concerned about the issue, she said.
In response to those concerns, the group last year hired a panel of experts in nutrition and toxicology to review the science related to the issue of the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list. The Environmental Working Group uses post-harvest pesticide residue data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration to compile the annual list.
Dolan said the alliance plans to release a report compiled by those experts by mid-July.
“The real danger of the Dirty Dozen list is that they are scaring people away from eating produce,” she said.
Dolan said the Alliance is planning two Web seminars on July 1 to discuss the campaign with fruit and vegetable growers and other produce industry leaders.
“We want to encourage people from the produce industry to be on the Webinar,” she said. “What they are going to find out, most importantly, is how to talk about this issue in a way that is reassuring to consumers, and they are going to learn how they can get access to a number of communication tools they can use.”
For more information how to participate in the July 1 Web seminars, contact the group’s office at (831) 786-1666.
via Alliance campaign refutes ‘Dirty Dozen’ list (mobile).