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Consumer Reports Pesticide Report: From Crop to Table

The reliance on toxic pesticides to produce food is neither safe nor sustainable. Since living organisms adapt, toxic pesticides eventually lose their effectiveness. This leads chemical companies to develop different pesticides to attack resistant weeds and pests — pesticides that are perhaps more toxic, or perhaps toxic simply in a different way. But while new pesticides can control pests for a while, it is never a long-term solution. Rather, pesticides — the chemicals that are supposed to be a solution — turn into problems themselves, as their toxic effects on non-target populations, including humans, become apparent. Given the growing body of scientific evidence pointing to harm, we believe that the costs are too high and do not justify the short-term benefits of controlling pests with toxic chemicals. We urge people to eat several servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Whenever available and affordable, we urge people to choose the most safe and sustainably farmed options, using our DRI/residues guide and labels guide. By using our guides and making informed purchases, consumers can protect themselves and support farmers who are reducing their pesticide use, which is better for human health and the environment.