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Food scientist: Consumers “don’t have anything to fear” when it comes to pesticide residue

Jun 5, 2017

Just how worried should we be about pesticide residues on the fresh fruits and veggies we buy? Can we trust government standards? Are consumers avoiding the fresh produce that is a healthier choice for fear of pesticide residue?

Michael Holsapple, the founding director and Endowed Chair of the Center for Research on Ingredient Safety (CRIS) at Michigan State University joined Stateside to answer some of those questions and to tell us what his research has shown. 

"The research that I've done about the pesticide residues on foods would suggest that, by and large, consumers really don't have anything to fear," Holsapple said.

According to Holsapple, pesticides are inherently toxic. After all, they are a product designed to kill pests. However, he said that pesticides that have been approved over the last few decades have been thoroughly vetted by the USDA, the FDA and the EPA.
 
"Their analysis shows that greater than 99% of the time, the pesticide residues that they measure, and again, this is on tens of thousands of products, are falling below and often times, significantly below the tolerances that are put forth by the FDA and the EPA to ensure that our food supply is safe," said Holsapple.

Listen to the full interview above to hear if buying organic protects us from pesticides, why Holsapple takes issue with the "Dirty Dozen" list and how he prevents corporate interests that financially contribute to CRIS from influencing his research.

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