Apples, peppers top list of pesticide-laden produce
NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE
October 21, 2003
WASHINGTON – Apples, peppers, celery and cherries top a list compiled by
an environmental research organization of the 12 fruits and vegetables it says
are the most contaminated by pesticides.
The report from the Environmental Working Group ranks pesticide contamination for
46 fruits and vegetables and is based on more than 100,000 lab tests conducted
between 1992 and 2001 by the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration,
with additional testing done on organic produce by the State of California. The top 12 most
contaminated fruits and vegetables also include imported grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears,
potatoes, red raspberries, spinach and strawberries.
The 12 least contaminated are asparagus, avocados, bananas and broccoli, cauliflower, corn,
kiwi, mangoes, onions, papayas, pineapples and sweet peas.
Since 1993, when the group published its last study of pesticide levels in produce, the fruits and vegetables
that made up what the advocacy group calls the "dirty dozen" have remained the same.
The group recommends buying organic versions of the most contaminated produce
but says that conventional produce is acceptable for the least contaminated list.