By Kate Merrill

BOSTON (CBS) – You eat fruits and vegetables to stay healthy, but there is a warning about your favorite produce.

New research suggests many fruits and vegetables are filled with the chemicals.

Apples take the No. 1 spot at the top of this year’s so-called ‘Dirty Dozen’ list. It’s compiled by the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit public health organization.

The group ranks produce by the amount of pesticide residue on them, using data from federal labs.

No. 2 on the list is celery, followed by strawberries, peaches and spinach.

The USDA says the overall pesticide residue levels they found are below the maximum allowed EPA levels.

WBZ-TV’s Kate Merrill reports.

The Produce Trade Association calls the list irresponsible, misleading and sensational. They worry the list “will discourage people from eating fresh produce and diminish the nutrition of many Americans.”

The Environmental Working Group also has a list out of what they say are the safest fruits and vegetables: onions, corn, pineapples, avocado and asparagus round out the top five.

They suggest buying organic when it comes to ‘Dirty Dozen’ produce. Dietitians say if you’re concerned, that’s not bad advice to follow.

The non-profit group admits the pros of eating non-organic fruits and vegetables outweigh the cons.

Pesticides are known to be toxic to the nervous system, cause cancer, disrupt hormones and cause brain damage in children.

Pregnant women are also advised to avoid foods containing pesticides.

Comments (2)
  1. Ron says:

    Hint: If you want to be taken seriously as a source of news, don’t ever publish anything the EWG says.They are nothing more than frauds who use junk science and blatant lies to terrorize. Maybe media outlets should hire someone who actually understands science. ‘Exposure” and ‘toxicity’ are not the same thing. Way to fear monger.

    1. Ron says:

      To add to my above comment, real science has shown that many of the natural pesticides that plants produce are highly carcinogenic. Another hint: plants have evolved to try to keep invasive bugs away, so what they create on their own can be pretty bad. Most of the pesticides people are ingesting are NATURAL pesticides. Add to that the FACT that organics have NEVER been shown to be healthier.

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