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Pesticides by the pound: Experts differ on health risks from chemical-laden produce

Monday, July 18, 2011

Portland Tribune

One fine day in early summer, the Southeast Portland Fred Meyer was selling Braeburn apples for 89 cents a pound, while organic Braeburns were more than double that price, at $1.99 a pound. Celery was going for 69 cents a pound, or 30 cents extra for organic. That poses a nagging question for many health-conscious shoppers: Is organic produce worth the steeper price? The Environmental Working Group helps shoppers make that call by compiling an annual “Dirty Dozen” list of fruits and vegetables that showed the highest incidence and concentration of pesticides in federal tests... Just as organic farming goes mainstream, shoppers have new options for food that isn’t certified as organic — but is grown by farmers who meet rigorous environmental standards... Some organic pesticides are harmful to wildlife, Hensey says, such as copper, which can hurt salmon. Shoppers with such concerns now can buy foods certified as Salmon Safe by a Portland group of that name, which certifies the grower’s practices are safe for fish and watersheds...

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