What's in that shiny coating on your fruits and veggies? Rooting out just which toxic pesticides are on your peppers is virtually impossible. Government data is vague, and the only time you get any details is on the off chance that a shipment is stopped at the border. Here's what was caught recently - for the second time - and why you should be worried.
Desert Valley dates from California
Deadly ingredient Malathion
What you should know It's the most commonly detected pesticide in food products, linked to vision loss in human and animal studies. Common on alfalfa, canola, potatoes, peas and beans.
Scary part Exposure far below toxic levels can cause genetic damage.
Best melons from Mexico, Golden Caliman papayas from Brazil
Deadly ingredient Ethylenebisdithiocarbamates (EBDC)
What you should know It's on the "dirty dozen" list of the Pesticide Action Network's most lethal pesticides; linked to cancer of the liver and birth defects. Common on potatoes, corn, flax, tomatoes, grains.
Scary part The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed banning its use on 45 food crops in 1989, but changed its position in 1992 after a "reassessment of dietary exposure."
Del Curto nectarines from Chile
Deadly ingredient Methomyl
What you should know It's quickly absorbed into the body through the skin, lungs and gastrointestinal tract; declared "highly hazardous" to humans by the World Health Organization. Common on canola, flax, peas, potatoes.
Scary part This Dupont-made chem kills insects on contact; three out of five victims of accidental poisoning from a contaminated meal died within three hours.
Cataratas and Chango oranges from Argentina
Deadly ingredient Prochloraz
What you should know Highly toxic to aquatic life; listed as a possible carcinogen by the EPA. Common on mushrooms.
Scary part Linked to reduced weights of reproductive organs and feminizing of male offspring in animal studies.
Ejidosol and Romelina sweet bell peppers from Spain
Deadly ingredient Iprodione, procymidone
What you should know Iprodione is a suspected endocrine disruptor. Procymidone has been linked to birth defects and infertility in tests on laboratory animals. Common on pretty much everything.
Scary part Iprodione has been banned in Denmark since 1998. Procymidone is not registered for use in Canada, period.
Boscovich strawberries from California
Deadly ingredient Captan
What you should know It's on the Pesticide Action Network's Bad Actor list; highly toxic to fish; 60 Minutes was sued by apple farmers in the 90s for suggesting it was a carcinogen.
Scary part The fungicide makes apples "bright" and "healthy"-looking.