Expert Assures Safe Food
Ag Organization Blasts Scare Tactics

PR Newswire (January 29, 1998)

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The Alliance for Food and Fiber issued the following statement today in response to a scheduled press conference on Thursday, January 29, at 10:00 a.m.(EST) in Washington, D.C. by Environmental Working Croup.

"There they go again," said Joel Nelsen, Chairman, Alliance for Food and Fiber referring to a report being released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). "The Environmental Working Group is sending out a report without peer- review, which presents extrapolated data with the purpose of triggering a particular political agenda. Unfortunately, their message may lead media and parents to believe their children are being harmed by eating fruits and vegetables. Nothing could be further from the truth."

"It is unfortunate that the public is continually barraged with this type of misleading scare tactics. Let's look at some reality. No government agency including the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, the U.S. Surgeon General, the National Institute of Health, the American Medical Association, or the American Academy of Pediatrics has ever stated that there is a safety or public health concern. The National Academy of Sciences in 1996 issues this statement with their landmark report, "the recommendation to consume liberal amounts of fruits and vegetables is appropriate and poses no undue competing risk."

"In California the Department of Pesticide Regulation conducts annual studies to test for residues and assure the safety of produce. Time and again this testing has shown that the vast majority of product has no detectable residues or is well within legal tolerances set. These tolerances are set based on large margins of safety."

"The Environmental Working Group, as did many other environmental groups, signed off on the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act, which provided the EPA new regulatory authorities to further protect children. It is obvious that they are playing games with this process now and undermining EPA's efforts to proceed under this Act."

"The bottomline in all of this is that EWG is undermining the goal of the public and children increasing fruit and vegetable consumption for their own political agenda. There is no greater mistake that the public could make than for children to reduce fruits and vegetables. Study after study after study shows that fruits and vegetables in the early years are most important in having a healthy, long life."

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