Apples, Celery Top Pesticide Watch List

Linda Doell
Pesticide spray on apples
Pesticide spray on apples

Seems Snow White shouldn't be the only one worried about consuming a questionable fruit. According to the latest data from the Environmental Working Group, apples have topped a list of fruit and vegetables containing the highest levels of pesticide residue.

The nonprofit watchdog group analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the FDA between 2000 and 2009 and ranked 53 fruits and vegetables based on how many pesticides and what levels were found during federal testing. The EWG's seventh Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce ranked the produce from the worst (those with highest pesticide levels) to the best (those with the lowest pesticide levels).

The EWG said many of the test samples had been washed and peeled before testing, so the ranking reflects the chemical amounts likely to be on the fruits and vegetables when eaten. (The group had originally published its list in February but has now included updated information.)

But the ranking has left at least one trade group sour over the report. The U.S. Apple Association said in a statement that the EWG's guide simply lists the produce on which residue was detected, but it fails to note that the levels were below the limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.