California grocery chains say ‘no more pesticides’

February 9, 2008

We can’t stop companies from making or using pesticides but we can stop buying products they show up on. And in California, that sometimes daunting task just got a whole lot easier.

Two California supermarket chains have become the first in the nation to test fresh fruits and vegetables for the presence of pesticides.

Executives from the two chains, Sacramento-based Raley’s Incorporated, which operates 53 stores in northern California and Nevada, and the Irvine Ranch Farmers Market, which operates 11 stores in southern California, said they instituted the chemical residue testing programs after the National Academy of Sciences published a study last spring outlining the dietary risks from eating food containing trace amounts of pesticides.

Farmers in California spray 600 million pounds of pesticides on 200 different crops, using more agricultural chemicals than farmers in any other state but Iowa.

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