Pesticides in Your Food

The following image comes from a blog.

The author of the blog who uses this photo is Rachel Sarnoff. She is a mother who is against the idea of feeding her children genetically modified foods due to the amount of exposure to chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. This image in particular that she posts on her blog utilizes different tactics in order to scare its audience into thinking that the food they perceive as normal is actually dangerous to their health.

The most glaring example is the use of needles that seem to be injecting some sort of chemical in to the nice, ripe and healthy looking tomato. Though the message is apparent, the image is misleading. Surely, farmers and scientists are not injecting pesticides and other chemicals into foods. Through genetic engineering, a food’s DNA is changed by inserting the desired traits into the genome. One of those desired traits is to be more pesticide-resistant. So no, pesticides are not in the DNA of your food and have nothing do its genetic makeup.

However, some may think that pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides are in the food they eat because farmers spray them so often and that their use has been increasing. Well according to the EPA, “very small amounts of pesticides that may remain in or on fruits, vegetables, grains, and other foods decrease considerably as crops are harvested, transported, exposed to light, washed, prepared and cooked. The presence of a detectable pesticide residue does not mean the residue is at an unsafe level.”

Not to mention, the EPA has also taken quite a few measures in the last 10 years to combat the toxicity of using these pesticides. They have stressed an increase in the use of the least toxic pesticides as much as possible, and have banned numerous pesticides in the recent years.

These efforts have been going well because they claim that “through USDA’s Pesticide Data Program (PDP) data, an overall decrease in the amount of pesticide residues in food, especially since the passing of FQPA in 1996. The stricter standards of FQPA and major improvements in science and data, and an increase in the use of safer, less toxic pesticides, has led to an overall trend of reduced risk from pesticides.”

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