Danger in the Produce Aisle?: Consumer Reports Warns of High Pesticide Levels in Popular Items


Vegetables are displayed for sale at a grocery store in River Ridge, La., Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
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(AURN News) – You may want to take a closer look at your fruits and vegetables, as a new analysis sounds the alarm on potentially dangerous pesticide levels in popular fresh produce items.

The report, recently released by Consumer Reports, examined seven years of data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The findings reveal that nearly one in five foods tested had concerning levels of pesticide residues, including bell peppers, blueberries, green beans, potatoes, and strawberries.

“Pesticides posed significant risks in 20 percent of the foods we examined, including popular choices,” the consumer advocacy group stated. “One food, green beans, had residues of a pesticide that hasn’t been allowed to be used on the vegetable in the U.S. for over a decade.”

The analysis also flagged imported produce, particularly from Mexico, as being more likely to contain risky pesticide residue levels compared to domestically grown crops.

Ratna Raju, a farmer who is part of a collective who practice natural farming, sprays natural pesticide on his farm in Pedavuppudu village, Guntur district of southern India’s Andhra Pradesh state, Monday, Feb. 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

However, the report did find that the majority of conventionally-grown produce showed little to no risk, with pesticide exposure negligible for nearly two-thirds of samples analyzed. Organic produce fared even better, with almost no pesticide residues detected.

Whether shopping organic or conventional, experts recommend that consumers thoroughly wash all fresh fruits and vegetables.

Click play to listen to the AURN News report from Jamie Jackson:

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