Workshop to spotlight consumer pesticide concerns | The Packer

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Workshop to spotlight consumer pesticide concerns

Published on 10/14/2010 06:00PM

The industry’s response to growing consumer concerns about pesticide residues on fresh produce will be addressed at a workshop on Oct. 15 at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in Orlando, Fla.

The workshop, set for 2:45 to 4 p.m., will focus on the campaign by the Watsonville, Calif.-based Alliance for Food and Farming to correct consumer misconceptions about the safety of fruits and vegetables, according to a PMA news release.

After years of negative publicity about produce safety and pesticide residues related to the so-called Dirty Dozen list from the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group, the alliance launched a campaign to set the record straight about the safety of fruits and vegetables earlier this summer.

PMA has supported the campaign and funded development of the consumer website, the release said.

The workshop will feature two scientists who were part of an expert panel commissioned by the alliance that evaluated the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list.

At the workshop, panelists will unveil a new scientific analysis on the safety of individual produce items, the release said. The workshop will also explore what consumers are saying about the issue, future plans for the campaign and what members of the industry can do to assist with outreach efforts, the release said.

The session will be moderated by Matt McInerney, executive vice president of Irvine, Calif.-based Western Growers and chairman of the alliance board of directors.

“This session’s message will be clear: fruits and vegetables produced both conventionally and organically are safe choices, and we are proud of the abundance of choices our industry provides for consumers,” McInerney said in the release. “That said, we will not allow any of our products to be disparaged because that hurts not only consumers but also the farmers who work so diligently to provide safe and wholesome fruits and vegetables.”

The panelists for the event are:

  • Carl Keen, Mars Chair in Developmental Nutrition, professor of nutrition and internal medicine, University of California, Davis;
  • Richard Reiss, principal scientist, Exponent Inc.; and
  • Lorna Christie, PMA executive vice president and chief operating officer.


Workshop to spotlight consumer pesticide concerns | The Packer.