The U.S. Department of Agriculture has been testing fresh produce for pesticide residues and releasing the findings to the public since 1991. Tremendous pressure is now being put on the Department to change things and that’s not good for consumers. Chemical agribusiness interests have launched an expensive campaign to keep the public from getting the information it needs to make good healthy choices. Just last year, nearly $200,000 of taxpayers’ money was used to support a misinformation campaign run by the Alliance for Food and Farming, a pro-agricultural chemicals lobby dedicated to combating pesticide critics such as the Environmental Working Group. Chemical agribusiness interests want to suppress the truth about pesticides.
The evidence linking pesticides to health problems – such as increased risk of cancer – is overwhelming. New studies show that pesticide exposure may lead to developmental delays and lower IQs in children. The President’s Cancer Panel recommended last year that consumers avoid foods with pesticide residues. Instead of caving in to pressure from industry groups like the Alliance for Food and Farming, the USDA and other federal agencies should compile and analyze more information about pesticides in our food. If you agree, I recommend that you join with consumer advocacy groups and let your members of the U.S. House and Senate know how you feel.
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