Most Contaminated Produce

By The New York Times, October 21, 2003

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 Apples, peppers, celery and cherries top a list compiled by an environmental research organization of the 12 fruits and vegetables it considers the most contaminated by pesticides.

The report from the organization, the Environmental Working Group, ranks pesticide contamination for 46 fruits and vegetables and is based on more than 100,000 laboratory tests conducted from 1992 to 2001 by the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. The most-contaminated list also includes imported grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach and strawberries.

The 12 considered least contaminated are asparagus, avocados, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, kiwi, mangoes, onions, papayas, pineapples and sweet peas.

Since 1993, when the group published its last study of pesticide levels, the produce on what it calls the "dirty dozen" list has remained the same. But the availability of organic produce has made it easier to avoid most pesticides.

The report used six measures of contamination including the percent of samples tested with detectable pesticides and the average number of pesticides found on a sample.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Return to Organic Home Page

FREE Monthly Newsletters

We publish four FREE monthly email newsletters: Click Here to Subscribe to One or More Newsletters

  • Inspired Lifestyles News - Inspiring, motivating and empowering quotes, stories and articles
  • Healthy Lifestyles News - Articles, resources and products for living a healthier, more vibrant life
  • Inspired Biz News - Articles and resources for a more spiritual, whole-living work environment
  • News & Sale Announcements - Sales events, new products and specials