[permaculture] (fwd) Impact of Farming Systems on Pesticide Residues

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lflondon at mindspring.com
Wed May 8 00:13:29 EDT 2002


 Date:         Tue, 7 May 2002 16:51:23 -0700
 Sender:       Sustainable Agriculture Network Discussion Group
               <SANET-MG at LISTS.IFAS.UFL.EDU>
 From:         Chuck Benbrook <benbrook at HILLNET.COM>
 Subject:      Impact of Farming Systems on Pesticide Residues
 
          The impact of farming and pest management systems on food
safety
 has been a recurring issue/debate on Sanet.  Over the years lots of
 opinions have been expressed based on dam little data.  Well, finally
there
 is a paper out in a peer-reviewed journal, "Food and Contaminants" (the
 most prestigious journal in the world of analytical chemistry and food
 contaminants) that provides some solid empirical evidence on one
dimension
 of the debate -- impacts on pesticide residues in fruits and
vegetables.

          USDA and FDA pesticide residue data have, for years, shown
that
 residues are by far more common in fresh fruits and vegetables compared
to
 other foods.  While residues are reported in 30-40% of all samples
tested
 in most surveys, they are found in 80-90 plus percent of many fruits
and
 vegetables, including unfortunately those eaten most often by infants
and
 children.  And, multiple residues are surprisingly common in
conventional
 produce, i.e. the average conventional apple sample tested by USDA-PDP
from
 1994-1999 with residues has, on average, 3.2 different pesticides on/in
it.

          All recent EPA risk assessments under the FQPA also show
clearly
 that fresh fruits and vegetables are the most common dietary risk
 drivers.  The "Food and Contaminants" article reviews the frequency and
 level of residues in organic, conventional, and No Detectable
Residue/IPM
 labeled food.  Residues are far less likely in organically grown
produce;
 multiple residues are common in conventional produce but rare in
organic
 foods; most residues in organic foods are from old organochlorine
residues
 bound in the soil, or drift from nearby conventional fields; residues
tend
 to be higher in conventional foods than organic samples.

          The data show conclusively that consumers can reduce pesticide
 exposures in the diet to very low levels by choosing to grow/purchase
 organic produce. For more details, various press releases, and access
to
 the full article, go to --

 http://www.omri.org/FAC.html

          Now when this issue comes up again, we can ground the debate
in
 some hard data.  More data will surface reasonably soon, as well.

                  Chuck

 Charles Benbrook         Ag BioTech InfoNet 
<http://www.biotech-info.net>
 Benbrook Consulting Services  CU FQPA site
<http://www.ecologic-ipm.com>
 5085 Upper Pack River Road            IPM site <http://www.pmac.net>
 Sandpoint, Idaho  83864
 Voice: (208)-263-5236
 Fax: (208)-263-7342
 E-mail: <benbrook at hillnet.com>

-- 

L.F.London ICQ#27930345 lflondon at mindspring.com
http://www.ibiblio.org/ecolandtech  london at ibiblio.org



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