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EWG Supporters Urge USDA to Stop Funding Pro-Pesticide Campaign with Taxpayer Dollars
WASHINGTON - May 19 - The Environmental Working Group today will send the U.S. Department of Agriculture a petition signed by more than 50,000 EWG supporters who object to the department’s grant of $180,000 to a California-based pro-pesticide, big agriculture group.
The grant underwrites efforts by the Alliance for Food and Farming to counter "claims by activist groups about unsafe levels of pesticides." It targets EWG’s Shopper's Guide to Pesticides, which translates government tests of agricultural chemicals detected on fresh produce into a user-friendly list of foods with high and low pesticide residues.
Conventional produce industry groups have been pressing the USDA to alter its releases of pesticide data. This year, the data release has been delayed by more than four months.
“We have rarely seen such a strong response from our supporters,” EWG President Ken Cook said. “More people are signing this petition by the hour, but we want to communicate immediately to USDA that these government data belong to everyone, not just to the industry.”
Three scientific studies published April 21 linked prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides and diminished IQs in children between the ages of 6 and 9.