Study shows organic foods have less pesticides than conventional

According to a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Food Additives and Contaminants, organically grown foods contain fewer residues of toxic crop pesticides than conventionally grown foods. "We have shown that consumers who buy organic fruits and vegetables are exposed to just one-third as many residues as they'd eat in conventionally-grown foods, and the residues are usually lower as well," said Edward Groth III, senior scientist at Consumers Union and one of the paper's co-authors.

The authors analyzed test data on pesticide residues in organic and non-organic foods from three independent sources, Consumers Union, the USDA, and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. The USDA data showed that 73 percent of conventionally grown foods had at least one pesticide residue, while only 23 percent of organically grown samples of the same crops had any residues. The California data found residues in 31 percent of conventionally grown foods and only 6.5 percent of organic samples. CU tests found residues in 79 percent of conventionally grown samples and 27 percent of organically grown samples.
(June 2002)