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| 1 minute read

Blueberries, strawberries again on the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list

The recent update of the Environmental Working Group's "Dirty Dozen" list highlights blueberries and strawberries among the top offenders for pesticide residue. This CNN article discusses the implications for consumers and provides recommendations for minimizing exposure to pesticides in fruits and vegetables.

The risks associated with pesticide residues:

Health Concerns: Pesticides have been linked to various health issues, including cancer, hormone disruption, and neurological problems. While the levels of pesticide residues found on fruits like blueberries and strawberries may be within legal limits, the cumulative effect of consuming multiple pesticide residues over time is a cause for concern, especially for vulnerable populations like children and pregnant women.

Environmental Impact: Pesticides can have detrimental effects on ecosystems, harming beneficial insects, soil health, and water quality. Runoff from agricultural fields can contaminate waterways, affecting aquatic life and potentially entering the drinking water supply.

What can consumers do?

Choose organic: Opting for organic foods reduces exposure to synthetic pesticides, as organic farming practices prohibit the use of most synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

Wash produce thoroughly: While washing fruits and vegetables may not completely eliminate pesticide residues, it can help reduce exposure. Use a produce brush and a solution of vinegar and water to remove surface contaminants.

Support sustainable farming practices: Look for locally grown produce from farmers who prioritize sustainable and integrated pest management practices, which aim to minimize pesticide use while maintaining crop health.

While blueberries, strawberries, apples, green beans etc. offer numerous health benefits, their inclusion on the 'Dirty Dozen' list underscores the importance of being mindful of pesticide exposure in our food supply. By choosing organic options, washing produce thoroughly, and supporting sustainable farming practices, consumers can take steps to minimize their exposure to pesticide residues while enjoying the nutritional goodness of these delicious berries.

For more information on how Intertek can support with pesticide testing and more please visit: 

Agrochemicals & Pesticides (

Pesticide Regulatory Support (

Approximately 95% of nonorganic strawberries, leafy greens such as spinach and kale, collard and mustard greens, grapes, peaches and pears tested by the United States government contained detectable levels of pesticides, according to the 2024 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.


pesticides, health, food safety, agriculture, english, highlight