Pesticide residues 'taste awful'
The Gazette June 30, 2011 4:11 AM Re: "An apple a day" " " (Letters, June 28).
[Envrio-Lunatic] K. Jean Cottam is unconvinced by my assertion there is no need to worry about pesticide residues on apples. After all, my opinion is only based on data drawn from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's extensive testing that found pesticide residues in only 2.5 per cent of 140,881 tests performed on apples. Of all these tests, there were only two that showed a slight excess above the Environmental Protection Agency's tolerance levels, which already have a huge built-in safety margin.
While she is unconvinced by the science, she is convinced of the dangers of residues because apples grown with them "taste awful."
Perhaps the organic apples Cottam buys do taste better, but that has nothing to do with the presence or absence of pesticide residues at the parts per million level.
Cottam comes to a selfadmitted "rather simplistic conclusion that what tastes quite bad is bound to be bad for you." By that logic we should satisfy our appetites with sugar and fat. These taste pretty good, therefore they must be good for us.
Joe Schwarcz Montreal