Thursday, August 11, 2011

Advocates of organic food argue "if you consumed an average apple you would be eating over 30 pesticides, even after you have washed it". How much of these chemicals, though, do you actually ingest?
Carl Winter, a food toxicologist who directs the university’s FoodSafe Program, and PhD student Josh Katz estimated consumers’ exposure to the pesticides “studied” in the EWG report and then compared them with the Environmental Protection Agency’s chronic reference dose (RfD), which estimates the amount of a chemical a person could be exposed to every day over an entire lifetime without an appreciable risk of harm. What did they find?

All pesticide exposure estimates were well below established chronic reference doses (RfDs). Only one of the 120 exposure estimates exceeded 1% of the RfD (methamidophos on bell peppers at 2% of the RfD), and only seven exposure estimates (5.8 percent) exceeded 0.1% of the RfD. Three quarters of the pesticide/commodity combinations demonstrated exposure estimates below 0.01% of the RfD (corresponding to exposures one million times below chronic No Observable Adverse E?ect Levels from animal toxicology studies), and 40.8% had exposure estimates below 0.001% of the RfD.
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