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NEWARK, Del.--The Produce Marketing Association here is vigorously challenging an article appearing in the February issue of Consumer Reports magazine that suggested some conventionally grown fresh produce items are unsafe because of pesticide residues.
"PMA works aggressively to challenge misleading and incorrect public statements that call into question the safety and wholesomeness of produce," said PMA president Bryan Silbermann. "In reality, pesticides are subjected to hundreds of tests before they are approved for use. When the EPA sets residue tolerances, it builds in a safety buffer of at least 100-fold." Silbermann further pointed out that the special diets of 22 sensitive groups, including infants, children, pregnant and nursing women and others, are also highly considered.
"Government, scientific, and health authorities are very clear in telling us that organic and conventionally grown produce are equally safe, nutritious, and tasty," said PMA's v.p. of government relations Kathy Means. "Although minuscule amounts of pesticide residues may, in fact, remain, credible scientific evidence indicates they represent no risk," she added.
As a partner with Partnership for Food Safety Education, PMA provided funding for a public education initiative that recommends consumers rinse produce under clear drinking water (no detergent or bleach) before eating.