News and Stories

FOOD SAFETY UPDATE: Environmental Working Group to Publish "Dirty Dozen"

April 09, 2018

The U.S.-based Environmental Working Group (EWG) plans to release their 2018 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce this Tuesday, April 10, 2018. The “Dirty Dozen” is published annually by EWG as a result of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Pesticide Data Program (USDA PDP) report.

Within the “Dirty Dozen” list, EWG rates fruits and vegetables based on pesticide residue sampling. They claim high levels of pesticide residues remain on fruits and vegetables when purchased, however the USDA PDP report shows that the produce industry maintains pesticide residue levels well below the maximum allowable standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

As it does every year, the “Dirty Dozen” claims trace amounts of pesticides on some fruits and vegetables are harmful. In fact, there is no scientific evidence that the amount of pesticides described on the list represent any health risks. Rather than promoting good public health, this list actually hinders the consumption of perfectly safe fruits and vegetables by causing fear and confusion in consumers.

For a more science-/fact-based resource about the safety of and health benefits attributed to both conventionally and organically grown produce, please visit This website is the result of an initiative by the Alliance for Food and Farming to address the misinformation and other misconceptions associated with the safety of fresh produce on the market today.

Markon, its suppliers, and its distributor members are committed to establishing and following sustainable agricultural practices that minimize negative impact on air quality, soil and water content, and water usage. Imperative to this pursuit is the establishment of specific and measurable procedures that make identifiable differences in environmental and human health.

Our suppliers follow government standards that ensure the safe application of pesticides with a careful eye to tolerance levels, worker safety, and environmental sensitivity. Markon believes in using integrated pest management techniques and supports the use of new technologies in farming/production practices. Public health officials maintain that the benefits of eating fresh produce outweigh any risk that may be associated with pesticide residues.

The USDA recommends rinsing whole, fresh fruits and vegetables to further ensure any trace pesticide residues are reduced or eliminated prior to consumption.

Feel free to contact Markon with any questions or visit the following links for more information:

Safe Fruits and Veggies Blog: Nutritionist Urges Concumers to Avoid "Shoppers Guides" When Buying Produce

Safe Fruits and Veggies Blog: EWG Nutritionist Recommends Diet High in Fruits and Vegetables

Safe Fruits and Veggies Blog: Beneficial Dietary Choices Before and During Pregnancy

Safe Fruits and Veggies Blog: AFF Releases New VIdeos Featuring RDs and Scientists

Lianna Kelly

Food Safety Director

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