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June 1st, 2010
01:58 PM ET

'Dirty dozen' produce carries more pesticide residue, group says

Dr. Sanjay Gupta | BIO
AC360° Contributor
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/HEALTH/06/01/dirty.dozen.produce.pesticide/smlvid.celery.ts.jpg caption="If you're eating non-organic celery today, you may be ingesting 67 pesticides with it." width=300 height=169]

Program Note: Is enough being done to protect us from chemicals that could harm us? Watch "Toxic America," a special two-night investigative report with Sanjay Gupta, M.D., June 2 and 3 at 8 p.m. ET on CNN.

If you're eating non-organic celery today, you may be ingesting 67 pesticides with it, according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group.

The group, a nonprofit focused on public health, scoured nearly 100,000 produce pesticide reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to determine what fruits and vegetables we eat have the highest, and lowest, amounts of chemical residue.

Most alarming are the fruits and vegetables dubbed the "Dirty Dozen," which contain 47 to 67 pesticides per serving. These foods are believed to be most susceptible because they have soft skin that tends to absorb more pesticides.

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Filed under: Sanjay Gupta
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    If there is a bad list (like this one had) my favorites for some reason are always on it – strawberries, apples, peaches, etc. This was a first though because the good list actually had some on it that I also like – just not as much as the bad ones! I used to think that buying organic was just a status thing – until we participated in a community fair and there was an organic farmer there giving out what he hadn't sold at the end of the day. They tasted a lot better (although some of that could have been because they were free) – so if they aren't priced out of reach I would rather serve the organics – better taste and better for you it seems.

    June 1, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  2. April

    First of all, they will never be able to do a study to ensure a "safe" exposure to pesticides. Why? Because consumers are eating it with almost everything they buy that's not organic. Pesticide residue is in every packaged food on the shelf. It's on every veggie that's not organic. Plus you left out a key issue: Genetically Modified foods! Those crops are now so resistant that Monsanto had to up their pesticide effectiveness (strengthen it). Farmers this year have to be under tighter restrictions for spraying and using this new product as it is so lethal. And from what I hear it doesn't wash off AT ALL! So how can anyone do a "study" to determine harmful levels when the mass public has no clue or doesn't care about what they eat? The majority of them eat insane amounts every day all day long.

    June 1, 2010 at 2:14 pm |