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Kiwis are exposed to toxic chemicals at every meal


Press Release

Kiwis are exposed to toxic chemicals at every meal

New Zealand research exposing the twelve most heavily pesticide-contaminated foods shows how kiwis are exposed to toxic chemicals at every meal, says Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ).

OANZ Chief Executive Officer, Dr Jon Tanner, is alarmed at the number of pesticides found and the range of food contaminated.

"From dairy products and bread to fruit, the 'Dirty Dozen' includes many of New Zealand's favourite foods", Dr Tanner said.

"Equally concerning, close behind these twelve were lettuce, tomatoes and wine - essentials in the kiwi summer diet.

"Pesticides are designed to be killers. While each might be present in only small amounts, families should consider their combined and cumulative effect - particularly on young children.

"No wonder people are thinking more carefully about what's really in their food, and increasingly choosing certified organic products.

"Eating certified organic food all but eliminates the potential for pesticide contamination, while removing synthetic chemicals from rural homes and communities.

"If people bought certified organic alternatives of just the 'Dirty Dozen', they would dramatically reduce their family's pesticide consumption.

"Choosing organic food this summer may also improve your long term health - with few studies investigating the effects of years of pesticide consumption", Dr Tanner said.

The "Dirty Dozen", ranked by number of pesticides and percentage contaminated are:
Food % with residue no. of pesticides sample size
1. Celery 98.2 21 56
2. Peaches, fresh/canned 96.4 15 56
3. Apricots, fresh/canned 96.4 14 56
4. Butter/cream/cheese 100.0 3 24
5. Wheat: bread, all products 79.3 23 232
6. Apples 80.5 20 288
7. Plums 91.6 8 48
8. Mandarins 83.3 10 36
9. Raspberries 85.4 7 48
10. Oranges 82.1 9 56
11. Strawberries 71.7 16 92
12. Grapes/raisins/sultanas 57.1 25 28


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