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2024 Dirty Dozen Lists Produce Packed With Chemical Pesticides
South Dakota Ag Connection - 04/02/2024

Nonorganic fruits and vegetables are loaded with chemical pesticides, including fungicides which can harm male reproductive systems, according to the 2024 Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce.

Alexa Friedman, senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group, explained food is the primary way most people in Wyoming and across the nation are exposed to pesticides, which have been linked to a number of negative health outcomes.

"Things like cardio metabolic disorders, different types of diabetes, as well as some cancers," Friedman outlined. "If you are exposed to multiple pesticides over the course of a lifetime they might lead to a greater risk in any of these health outcomes."

Conventionally-grown strawberries top this year's Dirty Dozen list, followed by spinach, kale and collard and mustard greens, grapes, peaches, pears, nectarines, apples, bell and hot peppers, cherries, blueberries and green beans.

Fungicides, which can be endocrine disrupters and harm human hormone systems, are often applied after harvest to keep produce mold-free on its way to market. Most of the produce tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture fell within the legal allowance for pesticide residue but Friedman argued "legal" does not necessarily mean "safe."

"Even if the amount of pesticides are within legal limits on these produce, it doesn't mean it's safe for everyone, particularly susceptible populations like children," Friedman stressed.

The shopper's guide also includes the Clean Fifteen, a list of fruits and vegetables with very low or no pesticide residues. Organic avocados, sweet corn and pineapple top the list.

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