For Immediate Release
Heather Pilatic, Communications Director
Pesticide Action Network North America
iPhone App Decodes Pesticide Residue Risks in Time for Thanksgiving
Sweet potatoes show 14 pesticides: 5 linked to cancer, 7 to endocrine system disruption
SAN FRANCISCO - Food safety and chemical exposure risks are making America's food
holiday a new kind of complicated. With Thanksgiving around the corner,
budgets tight and pesticide-linked diseases (including cancer,
Parkinson's, diabetes and autism) at historic highs, families looking
to gather and give thanks face a dilemma: how to celebrate in ways
that are at once healthy, affordable, green and abundant?
A new iPhone App helps conscientious food shoppers sort green-washing
and scare-mongering from differences that make a difference by using
science and decades of experience in the field of pesticide reform. By
linking pesticide residue and toxicology data from dozens of sources in
a uniquely searchable format, Pesticide Action Network's What's On My Food?
website and App show what pesticides are found on each food, in what
amount, and - for the first time - links those residues to the health
effects associated with exposure to each of the chemicals.
"This tool gives shoppers easy access to information on pesticides
that's been buried deep in government reports for years," says Kristin
Schafer, Senior Policy Analyst at Pesticide Action Network. "We're
working toward a future where we don't have to worry about chemicals on
our food. But for now, the Whats On My Food? tools help shoppers make healthy choices for their families that also help move the whole food system in the right direction."
The newly updated website and free iPhone application present pesticide
residue data for 87 foods sampled by scientists at the US Department of
Agriculture. It then highlights what health problems have been linked
to the chemicals found, including cancer, damage to the nervous system,
and harm to the reproductive, developmental and hormone systems. The
site notes that while most residues are found at low levels, little is
known about the combined effects of the multiple pesticides consumed in
a daily diet of conventional foods.
In the Take Action section of the site, Pesticide Action Network
calls on consumers not only to vote with their dollars by choosing
organic foods whenever possible, but also to become involved as "food
citizens" demanding a clean, green and fair food production system.
Download the What's On My Food? iPhone App: www.whatsonmyfood.org/iphoneapp.jsp
What's On My Food? Database: www.whatsonmyfood.org
U.S. Department of Agriculture site re: food residue testing
Available for Interviews:
Kristin Schafer, Senior Policy Analyst, Pesticide Action Network,
firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-981-1771, ext 323
Kathryn Gilje, Executive Director, Pesticide Action Network,
Kathryn@panna.org, 415-981-1771, ext 329.
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PANNA (Pesticide Action Network North America) works to replace pesticide use with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. As one of five autonomous PAN Regional Centers worldwide, we link local and international consumer, labor, health, environment and agriculture groups into an international citizens' action network. This network challenges the global proliferation of pesticides, defends basic rights to health and environmental quality, and works to ensure the transition to a just and viable society.