Pesticides

Millions of people rely on EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce to reduce their exposure to toxic synthetic pesticides used on fruits and vegetables. The alternative is buy organic.

Tuesday, December 5, 2000

Citing excessive risk to children, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today moved to sharply restrict consumer use of diazinon, the nation's #2 selling home and garden insecticide.

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Wednesday, September 6, 2000

The food poisoning test that ABC News Correspondent John Stossel used to allege that organic food "could kill you" cannot definitively prove any risk of food poisoning, according to a letter issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture today.

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News Release
Tuesday, August 1, 2000

Based on the evidence presented, the millions who watched the original broadcast might well have answered Walters’ questions in the affirmative. After viewing the segment, Walters said she might “cry.” The ABC News investigation seemed to offer compelling proof that millions of consumers were very wrong, indeed, about the benefits of organic food. Even more consumers saw the program when ABC News re-aired Stossel’s investigation on 20/20 on July 7, or in the somewhat condensed form the news division distributed July 11 for use by its affiliates, through ABC World News Now.

 

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Saturday, April 1, 2000

Despite an August ban by the federal government on an apple pesticide, recent tests of State of Washington apples show dangerous levels of the bug killer and other agriculture chemicals on the fruit.

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News Release
Thursday, March 2, 2000

More than 2.3 million pounds of the acutely toxic pesticide methyl bromide were applied near 455 public schools in California in 1998, according to state records of pesticide use analyzed by the Environmental Working Group. Methyl bromide, a volatile nerve gas, is a Category 1 acute toxin, the most hazardous classification of toxic chemicals, and causes birth defects and brain and nervous system damage at low doses in animal experiments.

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Wednesday, March 1, 2000

Laboratory tests of apples grown in Washington State and purchased in Seattle supermarkets over the past five months found widespread insecticide contamination. Eight percent of apple samples had unsafe levels of a bug killer abruptly banned for use on apples and other foods in August, 1999 by federal authorities because of nervous system risks to children. 

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Tuesday, December 14, 1999

Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act allows the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to grant "emergency" and "crisis" exemptions from pesticide health and safety standards for farmers facing sudden and potentially catastrophic pest infestations. By definition, granting these exemptions is a hurried procedure, accompanied by less than a full scientific study of the health risks of using the pesticide. The program, historically fraught with abuses, has been roundly criticized for granting repeated exemptions in response to ill-defined emergencies by at least three Congressional and General Accounting Office investigations (GAO 1978, GAO 1981, Guerrero 1991). The GAO raised specific concerns about granting exemptions for pesticides in the absence of a complete understanding of these chemicals’ effects on human health and the environment.

 
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Monday, November 15, 1999

The tap water of about 1 million Californians, mostly in the San Joaquin Valley, is contaminated with a long-banned pesticide that is one of the most potent carcinogens known, according to an Environmental Working Group (EWG) analysis of state data. Yet California's current drinking water standards for the compound allow exposure to 100 times the "safe" adult dose and almost 300 times the "safe" dose for infants and children.

 
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Reports & Consumer Guides
Friday, October 29, 1999

-A massive government review has concluded that the most widely used insecticide in the United States poses excessive safety risks to millions of American each year who are exposed when they use the chemical to kill bugs in their homes or gardens, or consume food contaminated with the compound.

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Thursday, July 1, 1999

n a little-noticed decision earlier this year, the EPA’s top scientific committee on children’s health declared that protections against the toxic weed killer atrazine in food and water should not be considered safe for infants and children. According to the Office of Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee:

 

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Wednesday, June 30, 1999

Atrazine, the most heavily used herbicide in the United States, is a cancer-causing weed killer applied to 50 million acres of corn each year. After it is applied each spring, it runs off cornfields and through drinking water plants into the tap water of millions of Midwestern homes.

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AgMag
Article
Friday, February 12, 1999

In January 1998, the Environmental Working Group called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban the insecticide methyl parathion in all foods consumed by children. We supported our recommendation with a detailed analysis of dietary risk of organophosphate exposure for children aged five and under. One year later, we again call on the agency to ban this highly toxic pesticide, based on the results of a new, refined risk analysis.

 
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Monday, February 1, 1999

Ten years after a consumer revolt against apples treated with the carcinogen Alar prompted a ban on the chemical, children are no better protected from pesticides in the nation's food supply, according to government data on the pesticides most often found in kids' favorite foods. A new study by EWG shows apples, as well as some other fruits and vegetables, are so contaminated parents should consider substituting items known to be lower in pesticides.

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News Release
Monday, February 1, 1999

Ten years after the American public demanded that the EPA ban the cancer-causing pesticide Alar, children are no better protected from pesticides in the nation’s food supply. Multiple pesticides known or suspected to cause brain and nervous system damage, cancer, disruption of the endocrine and immune systems, and a host of other toxic effects are ubiquitous in foods children commonly consume at levels that present serious health risks.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Friday, January 1, 1999

Two years of independent scientific monitoring by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) detected an array of toxic pesticides drifting into the air Californians breathe -- the tip of a 100-million-pound iceberg of hazardous chemicals emitted statewide each year as a result of pesticide use.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Friday, October 2, 1998

Pollutants in rivers and other source waters throughout Ohio are contaminating drinking water statewide, a citizen monitoring project has found. Tap water in a dozen Ohio communities is contaminated - at levels well above federal safety standards or guidelines - with pesticides, chlorinated compounds and other chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects and other illnesses, according to tap water tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Ohio Citizen Action.

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News Release
Wednesday, July 1, 1998

For decades, U.S. and foreign pesticide manufacturers have been feeding their products to rats, rabbits, mice, and guinea pigs in thousands of controlled laboratory studies, all designed to satisfy government regulatory requirements for chemicals that kill weeds, insects, rodents and other pests.

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News Release
Wednesday, July 1, 1998

For decades, U.S. and foreign pesticide manufacturers have been feeding their products to rats, rabbits, mice, and guinea pigs in thousands of controlled laboratory studies, all designed to satisfy government regulatory requirements for chemicals that kill weeds, insects, rodents and other pests.  Studies on lab animals are still routinely conducted for pesticides today. But in recent years, in a growing number of experiments that are raising ethical, legal and scientific questions inside and outside government, the test animals are people.

 

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Friday, May 22, 1998

On June 25, 1993, the Clinton-Gore Administration made headlines when it announced a bold new national policy to cut pesticide use in agriculture and make the protection of children the paramount consideration in federal pesticide regulation. 

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Thursday, January 29, 1998

Every day, nine out of ten American children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years are exposed to combinations of 13 different neurotoxic insecticides in the foods they eat. While the amounts consumed rarely cause acute illness, these "organophosphate" insecticides (OPs) have the potential to cause long term damage to the brain and the nervous system, which are rapidly growing and extremely vulnerable to injury during fetal development, infancy and early childhood.

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