An Apple A Day, Too Much Pesticide Spray

For the fifth year in a row, EWG ’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in ProduceTM ranks apples at the top of the Dirty Dozen PlusTM list of non-organic fruits and veggies with high levels of pesticide residues.

Even more pesticides may be found on recently approved genetically engineered (or “GMO”) Arctic® Apples when they hit the shelves. The U.S. Department of Agriculture just gave thumbs up to Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. to market two varieties of GMO apples designed not to turn brown. According to a recent Ecologist article (Feb. 16), “farmers may have to increase their pesticide use on these new GMO apples.”

But as EWG’s Libby Foley pointed out last week, U.S. law does not yet require the new Arctic® Apples – or any other GMO food – to be labeled as containing GMOs.

What’s a shopper to do?

The best bet for avoiding pesticide residues in the produce aisle is to buy certified organic. When organic fruits and veggies aren’t accessible, steer towards those found on EWG’s Clean FifteenTM list.

Choosing USDA-certified organic produce or processed food means bringing home food grown without toxic synthetic pesticides. Organic food also does not come from GMO crops that can only be maintained with increasing amounts of toxic weed killers.

For more on GMO foods and the need for nationwide mandatory labeling, check out EWG’s GMO page and Just Label It.

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