The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 marked dramatic progress in the federal government's efforts to protect Americans from dangerous pesticides. The landmark legislation, which EWG played a major role in pushing through Congress, required EPA to assess pesticides in light of their particular dangers to children and to ensure that pesticides posed a “reasonable certainty of no harm” to children or any other high-risk group. This law is credited with reducing the risks posed by pesticide residues on food. It forced American agribusiness to shift away from some of the riskiest pesticides. But worrisome chemicals are not completely out of the food supply. Residues of many hazardous pesticides are still detected on a handful of foods.
Research has demonstrated that pesticides and other agricultural chemicals are neurotoxic, capable of damaging your nervous system. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides, and 30 percent of insecticides are also carcinogenic.
All of these toxins are permitted on conventional farms, and any number of them can end up on your plate when you conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables. The increased use of genetically engineered plants1 and soil insecticides also increases the chemical load in foodparticularly processed foods.
USDA Does Not Test for Glyphosate
Most notably, as reported by Reuters, the USDA does not test for one of the most pervasive and one of the most harmful agricultural chemicals of all, namely glyphosate:
“As has been the case with past analyses, the USDA said it did not test this past year for residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide and …
The Alliance is releasing a report today called “Scared Fat,” which outlines concerns some experts have about the negative impact pesticides worries can have on produce consumption — at a time when Americans need to consume more fruits and vegetables.
The group has also launched a pesticide calculator where consumers can plug in produce items and see how many servings they would need to consume to reach the known “No Observed Adverse Affect Level.”
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