Hidden Pesticide Dangers
In Your Child's Food
State Says EPA Allowing Dangerous
Amounts Of Harmful Pesticides In Foods

The Boston Channel

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 Moore.
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. Eileen Kramer.
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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