Joe Pezzini, COO of Ocean Mist Farms in Castroville, Calif., member of Produce Marketing Association’s board of directors and chairman of PMA’s Food Safety, Science and Technology Committee, today issued the following statement in response to the release of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program report:
“This report reaffirms what we’ve known all along – produce remains the safe choice for consumers. Both the data and the comments from the agencies demonstrate that making ‘half your plate’ fruits and vegetables promotes strong, healthy families. U.S. rules for pesticide use on fresh produce – whether grown in the United States or imported, protect all consumers, including special sub-groups such as children and expecting mothers.
“Not only do these agencies concur, so do scientific experts who have looked at the government’s process and data. It’s irresponsible for anyone to misuse this report to scare consumers away from affordable fruits and vegetables that they enjoy, making the work of improving the diets of Americans more difficult. PMA supports the Alliance for Food and Farming and its campaign to counter inaccurate claims about pesticide levels on fresh produce that have been widely reported in the media for years. This is part of our ongoing work to identify, address and respond to emerging issues to protect and defend the produce industry’s image and bolster consumer confidence in fresh fruits and vegetables – just one example of the ways PMA provides year-round value to members.”