- BOSTON -- There is new cause
for concern for parents who think they are feeding their young children
safe and healthy foods.
- NewsCenter 5's Amalia Barreda reported that a new lawsuit
claims the Environmental Protection Agency is allowing unacceptably high
levels of pesticides in some foods favored by children.
- Massachusetts joins Connecticut, New Jersey and New York
in alleging everything from grapes to oranges to potatoes contains pesticide
residues that are excessive for children. The EPA is being accused of not
setting child safe pesticide limits as required by the Food Quality Protection
Act of 1996. "These safety standards exist. They've existed since
1996. They need to be enforced. We do need to have these levels set and
ideally they'll be set at 10 times the safety standards so that they will
protect kids," said Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General Alice
- Children are particularly at risk for a number of reasons.
They are growing and developing rapidly and they eat more food for their
size than adults do, and their metabolism is not mature enough to handle
the toxicity of pesticide residues.
- "Children, as compared to adults, are growing at
a rapid rate. Their cells are growing and changing. And we think that these
chemicals could affect the way cells grow and change. Possibly these pesticides
can turn a normal cell into an abnormal cell," said pediatrician Dr.
- Kramer believes there is cause for alarm.
- "I think the cancer rate in this country is higher
than it's ever been. And especially in children we're seeing numbers that
we've never seen before," said Kramer.
- Kramer admits there is no easy solution. Because careful
washing of produce does not necessarily get rid of chemical residues, she
said parents may want to consider switching to whole or organic foods as
an extra precaution.
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