Residues and health: Usda and Epa say yes – AgroNotizie

When it comes to chemophobic alarmism the sequence of events always follows an almost identical pattern, whether “pesticides in water”whether it be “residue in food”. Latest case in the United States, in which the Ewg, acronym for Environmental Working Groupproduced a document called “The Dirty Dozen”, with the list of foods with the greatest presence of residues, obviously making them look harmful in the eyes of their readers. While in America the estimated annual consumption of residues in fruits and vegetables suggests values ​​of a few milligramslet’s see how things really are.

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Part II: The Clean 18 – Usda Finds Almost No Pesticide-Related Health Concerns in Fruits and Vegetables Grown on US Farms, While Data on Organic Foods is Lacking

American surveillance

the Pesticide Data Program (Pdp)launched in America in 1991, focuses on the measurement of Pesticide residues in foods that are essential, especially in kids diet. Thus fruits and vegetables in general and in particular apples, apple juice, bananas, carrots, grapes, green beans, orange juice, peaches, pears, potatoes and tomatoes .

L’USDA distributes the data obtained annually surveillance on the residues, which show themselves as a whole harmless to health of consumers being largely respectful of limits established by regulation.

In the 9,600 samples tested in 2020, for example, were detected 19,679 residueswith an average of 2.05 active substances per sample. These are mostly at very low concentrations, on average 0.058 milligrams per kilogram. The median concentration was equal to 0.012mg/kg and the 95% measurements showed values ​​below 0.21mg/kg (95th percentile). Values ​​therefore measurable only thanks to the fairly sophisticated analytical technologies used. In addition, given the estimates on fruit and vegetable consumption processed in America, they would be consumed annually approximately 310 kilos per inhabitant of fruits and vegetables. Even considering the value of 0.21mg/kgwe can therefore estimate a hypothesis of about 65 mg/year. By retaining instead the average value, equal to 0.058mg/kgit goes down to just 18mg/year. Obviously, net of the peeling and cooking processes, which can only further diminish this figure.

From the point of view of amountthis figure is equivalent almost zero. Just think that in a cup of coffee express can be there 50 have 80 milligrams of caffeine. A cup of mocha-based coffee, or about 50 milliliters, can contain up to 120 milligrams. And caffeine is toxicologically much worse than most crop protection products used in the field today.

Knowing then that it is dose to make poisonwe must now ask ourselves whether these 18 or even 65 mg/year represent a health risk.

Risk assessment

Premise: the 97.9% of samples it would turn out compliant after comparison with the tolerances authorized by the EPA, established on the basis of the toxicological profiles of each molecule.

From the point of view of the health risk, the various active substances were assessed by comparing the analytical results (residues) with the tolerance thresholds fixed by the EPA on a toxicological basis and the results are extremely interesting:

  • the 12.4% between the predetermined tolerance threshold and the levels 20 times below;
  • the 29.5% shows the residues that are placed between 20 and 100 times below tolerance;
  • the 31.4% between the 100 and the 500 lower times;
  • the 20% between the 500 and the 2,500 time;
  • the 4.7% beyond 2,500 time.

Only this 0.4% of samples proved to be above the tolerance threshold, while1.7% cases presented with residues for which there are no tolerance thresholds for the molecule-culture binomial. In practice, these are active substances present in products for which no limit is set. i.e. likely off-label use. Which obviously does not imply that these residues were dangerous to health. However, it is good to point them out, since the rules are there and still have to be respected.

Since health risks must be estimated on the basis of achronic intakeit goes without saying that we minimal and sporadic overshoot safety thresholds do not affect the importance global security American fruits and vegetables.

The movements they propagate alarmism on residues in food, however contest the conclusions suggested by the most elementary toxicology, that is to say that which establishes whether or not there are risks by comparing the doses found in food (level of exposure) with known thresholds of potential effect. And the conclusion of the experts, as we can see, is that there are no risks.

Obviously, in the official documents it cannot be said that way, since scientific ethics requires the use of expressions such as “insignificant risks“, or “there are no unacceptable risks to human health“. Of course, on this “meaningful” and on this “unacceptable” the castles of those who perhaps would like humanity to return to the caves eating wild roots with zero residue. And then we come back to the aforementioned Ewg.

zero does not exist

Teams for decades pseudo-ecologists they spread fear through reiterations media pillories at the expense of food pass for poison when the poisons are not at all. These teams sometimes compose ban listsprecisely marked as “dirty dozenas happened in America by the Environmental Working Group. direct choices consumers dotting the pages of their site with “testimonials” which are sometimes more gods than anything else promotional posts in favor of organic, presented as authoritative scientific advice.

As low as the residuals are and how far they are light years away from representing a measurable risk for consumers, these associations are keen to brag about the zero threshold as a goal to achieve. A threshold not only unattainable in fact, but also misleading in the message itself. From the point of view of risks, in fact, we are already at levels which tend asymptotically to zero. Going any further below these wouldn’t help, it’s significant improvements in the current state already excellent.

Unfortunately, such media campaigns they have already pushed various supply chains to continue the dangerous zero residue trap, under the illusion of obtaining commercial advantages. At least in the short term. A subject already covered in the past and which we recommend that you deepen today, before deepening a dead end at the bottom of which agriculture awaits classic wall.

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