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EWG News Roundup (4/13): Pesticides in Fruits and Vegetables, Pruitt’s Scandal List and More

In the News
Friday, April 13, 2018

This Tuesday, EWG released our 2018 Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce™, ranking fruits and vegetables for the most and least pesticide residues. Spoiler alert: for the third year running, strawberries topped the list for having the most pesticide residues.

Scandals surrounding Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt have been piling up for weeks, and this week was no different. Chair of the House Oversight Committee Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., demanded information on Pruitt’s laundry list of reported spending improprieties – including his private security force, his penchant for first-class travel and his sweetheart condo rental linked to an energy lobbyist.

“Mr. Pruitt may want to bone up a bit on the checks and balances enshrined in the Constitution,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “The congressional crosshairs are coming into focus, and any further stonewalling will certainly trigger something more serious than an angry coach-class ticket holder.”

The federal government’s top ethics official issued a scathing critique of Pruitt’s growing list of scandals. And The Washington Post reported that the administrator had been using a rotation of four different agency email addresses.

“Only government officials with something to hide move between multiple email accounts,” Cook said.

Elsewhere in the nation’s capital, the Senate confirmed Andrew Wheeler, a former coal and chemical industry lobbyist, as the Deputy Administrator of the EPA. As a lobbyist, Wheeler represented polluter bigwigs such as Murray Energy, the largest coal mining company in the U.S., and Celanese Corporation, a chemical company that manufactures a number of toxic substances, including formaldehyde.

EWG also laid out this week why the natural gas industry is trailing behind many renewable energy options.

For coverage on these developments and more, here’s some news you can use going into the weekend.

EPA and Scott Pruitt

POLITICO – Morning Energy: Swamp Things

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer joined his House counterpart Nancy Pelosi in calling for Pruitt’s exit on Monday. “President Trump says he's going to drain the swamp. Pruitt characterizes the swamp in just about all of his actions, and Trump sticks by him,” Schumer said from the Senate floor. “If you want to drain the swamp, Mr. President, get rid of Mr. Pruitt.” The Environmental Working Group calculated there are now 91 bipartisan members of Congress calling for Pruitt’s removal. More here from your ME host.

EPA and Andrew Wheeler

Associated Press: Former coal lobbyist confirmed as No. 2 official at EPA

"Before the Trump administration, it would have been inconceivable that a coal and chemical industry lobbyist with a long history of hostility toward environmental policy would be the No. 2 at EPA," said Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group.

CNN: Former Inhofe aide Wheeler confirmed as EPA's No. 2

The president of the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit that works to protect the environment, slammed Wheeler's appointment in a statement. "Before the Trump administration, it would have been inconceivable that a coal and chemical industry lobbyist with a long history of hostility toward environmental policy would be the number two at the EPA," Ken Cook said. "The EPA may need to add more office space to accommodate Mr. Wheeler. I'm not sure there's enough room in its current digs to fit another shill from the coal and chemical industries."

ThinkProgress: Senate confirms former coal lobbyist as EPA’s deputy administrator, potential Pruitt replacement

“If President Trump picked a top tobacco lobbyist to run the CDC, most Americans would demand the Senate reject that nomination,” Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said Thursday in a statement. “Putting Mr. Wheeler in charge at The EPA is no different. He’s spent his entire career opposing virtually every aspect of the EPA’s mission to protect public health and the environment, and will continue his life’s work from the inside.”

2018 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Monologue

An environmental organization has published a list of the top dirtiest produce items.

CBS: Strawberries top 2018’s "Dirty Dozen" list of fruits and vegetables

For the third year in a row, strawberries top the "Dirty Dozen" list put out by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The list, published each year since 2004, ranks popular fruits and vegetables based on pesticide contamination. The group found that one third of all conventional, or non-organic, strawberry samples contained 10 or more pesticides. One sample of strawberries was found to have an "astounding" 22 pesticide residues, EWG said. Reprinted 27 times.

CNN: Strawberries again top 2018's 'Dirty Dozen' fruits and veggies

Once again, strawberries top the list of the 12 "dirtiest" fruits and vegetables, according to the Environmental Working Group.  Every year since 2004, the group -- a nonprofit, nonpartisan environmental organization -- ranked pesticide contamination in 47 popular fruits and vegetables for its Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Reprinted 94 times.

CNN: The 2018 'Dirty Dozen' (Slide Show)

Each year, the Environmental Working Group releases a "Dirty Dozen" list of fruits and vegetables that contain the highest level of residual pesticides as decided by government tests. Once again, strawberries top the list this year.

CNN: 5 Things for April 11, 2018 (Newsletter sent to CNN subscribers)

BREAKFAST BROWSE – The dirty dozen

Fruits and veggies are good for you – but dirty. And the dirtiest of all (once again) are strawberries.

TIME: Strawberries Top the "Dirty Dozen" List of Fruits and Vegetables With the Most Pesticides

In the latest report about pesticide residues, the Environmental Working Group says that 70% of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables contain up to 230 different pesticides or their breakdown products. Reprinted by MSN.

TODAY (NBC): Worried about pesticides on produce? Look for these fruits and veggies

The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit environmental organization which receives funding from organic food purveyors like Stonyfield and Annie’s Homegrown, just released its annual Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce, which ranks pesticide contamination of 47 popular fruits and vegetables.

USA Today: Strawberries, spinach top 'Dirty Dozen' list of fruits and vegetables with most pesticides

If you're wary of the promises of organic produce, maybe you should at the very least start eating organic strawberries, recent research suggests. For the third straight year, strawberries top the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen list of fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residues. But others view the report with skepticism. Reprinted by 132 media outlets.

Business Insider: 12 fruits and vegetables you should always buy organic

We all know we should be eating more fruits and vegetables — but it turns out, some produce comes with a heavy dose of unwanted pesticides, in addition to all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The Environmental Working Group just came out with their most recent Dirty Dozen list, a ranking of the 12 kinds of produce containing the highest concentration of pesticide residues.

Business Insider: 15 fruits and vegetables you shouldn’t bother buying organic

The EWG just released its 2018 Shoppers' Guide to Pesticides in Produce, listing the 15 "cleanest" fruit and vegetables found to contain the least pesticides. In order to create the list, the EWG looked at over 10,000 samples that the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration took from popular fruits and vegetables.

The Daily Mail: Strawberries and spinach top the 'Dirty Dozen' list of foods with the most pesticides linked to cancer, obesity and infertility

report by the Environmental Working Group based on testing by the US Department of Agriculture revealed that more than 230 pesticides were found across 70 percent of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. One set of strawberries tested positive for 20 different pesticides.

Delish: The 12 Dirtiest Foods You'll Find At The Grocery Store

You might give yourself a pat on the back every time you manage to leave the grocery store knowing that you're taking a decent amount of fruits and vegetables home with you, but the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) annual dirty dozen list proves that there's still a few reasons why you should be more careful about the foods you pick up in the produce aisle.

Earth Island Journal: Not Strawberries Again!

It’s common knowledge these days that nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy, well-rounded diet. But according to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) annual “Dirty Dozen” list, there are  some conventional produce items that it may be best to avoid.

Everyday Health: Strawberries Top ‘Dirty 12’ List of Contaminated Produce

Consumers can eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables that are largely free of pesticide residue, but they will have to shop carefully, according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. The report, EWG’s 2018 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, found that almost 70 percent of conventionally grown, not organic, produce contained pesticide residues even after washing and peeling.

Fortune: Strawberries—And 11 Other Fruits and Vegetables—Are Loaded With Pesticide Residue

The Environmental Working Group has put out its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of fruits and vegetables that have the greatest amounts of pesticide contamination—the 15th such list—and strawberries are once again top the rankings.

FOX Business: Strawberries top ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of most contaminated three years in a row

For the third straight year, strawberries have topped the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list of fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residue. According to EWG’s annual shopper’s guide report, about a third of all strawberry samples tested has at least 10 pesticides on it. One sample, in particular, had an “astounding” 22 pesticide residues found.

KQED: 70 Percent of Fruit and Vegetables in the US Has Pesticide Residue

“It is vitally important that everyone eats plenty of produce, but it is also wise to avoid dietary exposure to toxic pesticides, from conception through childhood,” said Sonya Lunder, senior analyst with nonprofit Environmental Working Group, which conducted the analysis.

Mic: The 2018 dirty dozen: The fruits and veggies with the most pesticides

The Environmental Working Group released its latest dirty dozen list on Wednesday, highlighting the 12 fruits and vegetables that, according to their tests, contain the greatest amount of pesticides. Strawberries were again found to be the biggest offender — in the EWG’s findings, one strawberry sample contained 22 different pesticide residues. And, “one-third of all conventional strawberry samples contained 10 or more pesticides,” the EWG reported. Reprinted by Scribd.

MindBodyGreen: These Fruits & Veggies Have The Most Pesticides This Year

Every year, the Environmental Working Group sifts through the fruit and veggie market to find out which types of conventionally grown produce contain the most—and least—chemical pesticides.

Mother Nature Network: Strawberries top Dirty Dozen list for third year

Strawberries are the dirtiest of the Environmental Working Group's 2018 Dirty Dozen list, the third year the fruit has taken the top dishonor. Each year, EWG releases this list to make it easier to avoid pesticide residue. Although fruits and vegetables are a vital part of a healthy diet, the pesticides left behind on conventionally grown produce can affect health in subtle ways. EWG is a nonprofit group that uses public information to protect public health and the environment.

New York Daily News: Strawberries top ‘Dirty Dozen’ list for pesticides — again

Strawberries just got a raspberry — again — from a consumer watchdog. For the third year in a row, the sweet fruits top the “Dirty Dozen” list of the most pesticide-tainted produce, according to the Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by the Los Angeles Daily News.

Organic Authority: Strawberries Top EWG’s Pesticide-Laden ‘Dirty Dozen’ List for Third Year in a Row

For the third year in a row, strawberries top the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Dirty Dozen list of the twelve fruits and vegetables most heavily sprayed with pesticides.

POPSUGAR: Strawberries Are the Dirtiest Fruit, According to the EWG's 2018 "Dirty Dozen" List

Next time you hit the grocery store, you might want to hold off on buying non-organic strawberries. That's according to the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) 2018 list of the "Dirty Dozen," an annual guide of pesticides in non-organic produce. For the 2018 list, strawberries come in first as the most contaminated, followed by (in order of contamination) spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes, and sweet bell peppers, with hot peppers as a bonus number 13. Reprinted by POPSUGAR Middle East.

POPSUGAR Moms: How Your Grocery Shopping Habits Could Impact Your Chance of Getting Pregnant

The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit that monitors the safety of consumer goods, puts out its Dirty Dozen produce shopper's guide each year. The 2018 version is a good place to start if you want to limit your risk of exposure to pesticides — and up your chance of conception. EWG also put out a Clean 15 list. Sonya Lunder, the lead author of EWG's 2018 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce, told us: "The Harvard studies are an important indicator that there needs to be more research on the potential reproductive impacts of pesticide mixtures in our diets."

Prevention: These "Dirty Dozen" Foods Are Loaded With Pesticides, According to a New Report

Health-conscious shoppers are no strangers to the nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables, but a 2018 report from the Environmental Working Group offers another reason to think twice about what you’re picking up at the grocery store. In their annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, the nonprofit, nonpartisan environmental organization found that strawberries top the list with the most pesticide residues for the third year in a row. 

Shape: The Latest Info On Produce and Pesticides from the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Lists

Well according to the latest analysis from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) on pesticides found in conventionally grown produce, you might want to rethink your shopping cart—some of your favorite smoothie staples could contain a serious dose of pesticide residue. (Have you tried these slimming fruit smoothies?)  

Treehugger: Avoid these top 12 toxic fruits and vegetables

For this year’s annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that more than one-third of the strawberry samples tested contained 10 or more pesticide residues and breakdown products. One strawberry sample was riddled with 22 pesticide residues. Forget poison apples, conventional strawberries could be the new fruit of doom offered by villain queens.

The Weather Channel: Strawberries, Spinach Have the Most Pesticides, 'Dirty Dozen' List Says

Strawberries are likely on many grocery lists as summer nears, but the fruit has topped the list of produce with the most contamination for the third year in a row, according to recent findings. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) put out its 2018 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce Tuesday, with a call for both adults and children to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Well+Good: 2018’s Dirty Dozen list is here—and it’ll make you want to buy *all* organic produce

Every year, the Environmental Working Group—a research and advocacy organization for human and environmental health—puts out its list of the “dirtiest” fruits and veggies, ranking pesticide contamination in 47 produce items you likely put in your grocery cart (which is also probably filthy, BTW) on the regular. This year pesticides were so prevalent that it had to add a 13th member to the new (baker’s) Dirty Dozen.

WTOP: Strawberries, apples, spinach: Guide highlights fruits, veggies with most pesticide residues

In the 2018 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, the Environmental Working Group analyzed more than 38,800 samples taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and ranked 47 fruits and vegetables based on pesticide contamination after the foods were washed or peeled. 

Cleaning Products

The Washington Post: Are your cleaning supplies accumulating into clutter? Here’s what you really need.

The Environmental Working Group has rated thousands of products on its website, ewg.org. In addition to giving products an overall letter grade, the organization also scores them based on level of concern for respiratory effects, cancer-causing agents and potential harm to the environment. Reprinted by 19 media outlets.


MindBodyGreen: 9 Sustainable Items To Add To Your Target Cart

A favorite of celebrity makeup artists, W3LL People's line of products are made without harsh ingredients like phthalates, sulfates, and fragrance, and it earns high marks in the Environmental Working Group's database for commitments to human and environmental health. In keeping with mbg's prediction that eco-friendly beauty is about to go mainstream, dozens of W3ll People products are now stocked in Target's beauty aisle.

SPY: On The Record: C’est Moi Beauty’s Jennifer Saul On Her New Skin Care Line For Teens & Tweens

In addition to being marketed and designed for young teens, the brand is also committed to using clean ingredients and fostering sustainable practices that don’t hurt humans or the environment. C’est Moi is partnered with the Environmental Working Group (EWG.org) to further its commitment to the use of safe ingredients in products and to advocate for cosmetic reform in the United States.

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

Home & Lifestyle Chronicle: Good Housekeeping Report – The air in your home

Some aerosol cleaners, personal care products and deodorizers use VOCs (e.g., butane, propane, isobutane) as propellants to release what’s inside. If you’re concerned, skip aerosols in favor of pump-and-trigger sprays, or opt for an alternate form, like a solid or a roll-on. For more info on specific ingredients, check company websites or resources like Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep (ewg.org/skindeep) and UL’s healthy product-scoring tool, goodguide.com, which rates ingredients by their health hazards.


Mom Does Reviews: Clean Your Kids The Natural Way With Clean Kids Naturally #Review

We are proud to announce that all Clean Kids Naturally products are now EWG VERIFIED™. EWG VERIFIED™ means that our products avoid EWG’s (Environmental Working Group) ingredients of concern, is committed to full transparency and operates under good manufacturing practices.

Farm Subsidies

CATO Institute: Reforming Federal Farm Policies

At the top end, many billionaires have received farm subsidies over the years. Looking at the period from 1995 to 2014, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that 50 people on the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans received farm subsidies. Today, the largest pot of subsidies is channeled through insurance companies, which hides the identities of recipients, as noted.

VTDigger: Successful agriculture future diverges from big dairy

Those large farms receive favorable financing, grants and subsidies that are largely unavailable to smaller farms — tens of millions of dollars (the EWG Farm Subsidy Database reports that Vermont received dairy subsidies of $123 million from 1995-2016).  

EWG’s Healthy Living App

Duluth News Tribune: Nutrition – Phone apps can help you at the grocery store

I suggest trying a smartphone app to put help in the palm of your hand. Among the ones to consider are Fooducate, Shopwell, EWG (Environmental Working Group) and FoodFacts. They can help you make healthier choices because they're designed to sort through nutritional information and they rate less processed foods higher than more processed foods.

Nonstick Chemicals in Food Packaging

Washington Examiner: Washington becomes first state to ban nonstick chemicals in food packaging

Last year, the Environmental Working Group worked with scientists to test fast food wrappers. They found that 40 percent of wrappers tested positive for the chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency last month called for a nationwide summit in May to address the chemicals.

Medical Health News: Washington becomes first state to ban nonstick chemicals in food packaging

Last year, the Environmental Working Group worked with scientists to test fast food wrappers. They found that 40 percent of wrappers tested positive for the chemicals.

EWG’s Guide to Sunscreens

San Clemente TimesGreen Savings: At-Home Tips to Save the Environment and Your Finances

Look to use lotion-based sunscreens as opposed to aerosol-based UV protection. The Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization, recommends sun bathers avoid spray-on sunscreens with ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide, which can be toxic to humans and the ocean.

Tap Water Database

Easy Health Options: 8 ways to rid your home of dust, dirt and toxins this spring

Filter your water. There’s a lot we can do proactively to keep toxins out of our homes. One step that’s easy is to purchase and install filters for drinking water taps and shower heads. EWG’s Tap Water Database can help you identify potential toxins in your community’s drinking water.


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