Advancing Credible Safety Facts to Positively Impact Healthy Eating

4/3/2017 12:10 PM

Despite two peer reviewed studies showing the potential negative impact on consumers of fear-based messaging about produce safety, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has resorted to even more inflammatory statements in recent media interviews. 

In an article last week, EWG Vice President Scott Faber urged consumers to “avoid certain fruits and vegetables” due to pesticide residues.  Yes, the EWG VP actually advised consumers not to eat the very foods that health experts everywhere agree are safe and we should all consume more of every day for better health and a longer life.

And in another story, EWG Senior Scientist Sonya Lunder labeled one healthy and safe produce item as “super pesticide ridden.”  What? This statement is completely untrue, has absolutely no basis in fact or science and simply amounts to name-calling.  No wonder consumers are confused.  And no wonder low income consumers say that statements from groups, like EWG, make them less likely to purchase any produce – organic or conventional.

While EWG and their subsidiaries are among the biggest offenders in spreading misinformation about produce safety, many activists groups also follow suit.  If their goal is to promote one production method over another there is plenty of positive information that resonates with consumers and does not resort to disparagement of healthy and safe produce.

Let's follow the findings of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future study which concluded that groups concerned about public health should work together to convey consistent messages about healthy eating versus confusing consumers with conflicting statements which may discourage them from improving their diets. 

With low fruit and vegetable consumption levels, toxicology analyses and government data showing both conventional and organic produce is very safe, and peer reviewed studies illustrating how inaccurate and negative safety messaging may be impacting consumers’ diets, it is clearly beyond time for groups, like EWG, to adopt reassuring, truthful ways to talk about produce safety.

By advancing credible facts and information about the safety of all produce we can remove fear and confusion as a barrier to consumption and positively impact healthy eating.  The Alliance for Food and Farming is committed to that.   EWG, will you join us? 

Read, learn, choose but eat more fruits and veggies everyday for better health and a longer life.

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