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America’s produce has a ton of pesticides

Quartz – “Consumer Reports’ latest investigation suggests that 20% of commonly sold fruits and vegetables contain unsafe levels of pesticides. Some of your favorite produce might be dicier to eat than assumed. An analysis from Consumer Reports published Thursday suggests that a substantial portion of commonly sold fruits and vegetables have a significant risk of exposure to dangerous pesticides — around 20%. Bell peppers, watermelons, and blueberries were some of the most exposed produce. Pesticides are routinely used to control populations of insects and other pests that can infest or harm our crops. Regulators try to reduce the impact of these chemicals on human health by setting limits for how much residue is allowed to remain on our foods and outright banning pesticides deemed too dangerous for consumption. Since the mid-1990s, hundreds of pesticides have been restricted or removed from use on the foods Americans eat, and according to the Environmental Protection Agency, our food is likely the cleanest it’s ever been, pesticide-wise. But organizations like Consumer Reports argue that there’s still a lot more that could be done to keep our produce safe. It has been independently tracking the use of pesticides on our produce for quite some time now, and its latest investigation analyzed seven years’ worth of data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Consume Reports looked at nearly 30,000 test samples from 59 fruits and vegetables commonly found on store shelves, both domestic and imported…”

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