WASHINGTON (FNS) -- The Environmental Protection Agency is prepared to issue later this month the much-debated pamphlet aimed at alerting supermarket shoppers to the potential health risks of pesticides used on produce.
any details about the brochure and would not make a copy of it available to SN.
She said the agency developed the publication under congressional mandate, as directed by the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996. A preliminary version of the brochure issued last year drew harsh criticism from food retailers and manufacturers. They claimed it was a screed against pesticide use and promoted the purchase of organically grown produce as supposedly safer.
"We received a lot of input from many organizations, and the brochure will balance the goals and objectives of providing consumers with information about the concerns for pesticide use [on produce], as well as its benefits," said the spokeswoman. She added that the brochure will be sent to food retailers "within the next two weeks."
The publication will list a Worldwide Web address so that consumers can obtain additional information. The official declined to provide the web address.
Although officials with food-industry trade groups had not seen a final version of the brochure, many expressed concern that it would needlessly alarm consumers about food safety. "These brochures will be distributed in grocery stores and will sit there next to the broccoli," a Grocery Manufacturers of America spokesman said.
"I can't imagine that any grocer or manufacturer -- or for that matter, any consumer -- would welcome a pamphlet that infers any pesticide use is bad," the GMA spokesman said.
A United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association spokesman added the industry is concerned the placement of the EPA brochure in stores will discourage consumers from eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, in contradiction to the goals of other federal agencies, which advocate increased produce consumption for the promotion of good health.