The Alliance for Food and Farming is making headway in the Safe Fruits and Veggies Initiative, which advocates on the behalf of U.S. fresh fruit and vegetable producers. The Alliance was started in 1989 by a group of agriculture associations in response to a 60 Minutes story about a pesticide used on apples.
Launched in 2010, the main focus of the Safe Fruits and Veggies Initiative is to balance misinformation found in news coverage, such as that following the Environmental Working Group’s release of its annual “Dirty Dozen” lists, which ranks fruits and vegetables based on detectable amounts of pesticides found on produce. In the past five years, the Alliance has seen a shift to more balanced coverage in news stories concerning fresh produce in the U.S.
Another tool the Alliance is using is a pesticide level ‘calculator,’ found on the website, safefruitsandveggies.com, which shows the number of servings that children, teens and adults can consume in a day before experiencing any effects from pesticide residue. For example, according to the calculator, a child could safely consume over 150 servings apples in one day—even those with the highest pesticide residue recorded by the USDA—and suffer no ill effects.
The Alliance and industry members hope that the Safe Fruits and Veggies Initiative will also have the simplest of impacts: helping consumers to make the healthy decision to eat more fruits and vegetables.