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 Not Wonderful, The Wonderful Company is Spraying Toxic Paraquat on pomegranates and pistachios

Introduction: When a company promotes the health benefits of its products, we expect it to prioritize the well-being of its workers and the communities it serves. Unfortunately, Wonderful, the company behind popular brands like POM pomegranate juice and Wonderful pistachios, falls short in this regard.

The Issue: A recent analysis by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) reveals that Wonderful is the second-largest user of toxic paraquat in California. In 2021 alone, the company sprayed over 56,000 pounds of paraquat on its pomegranate, pistachio, and almond trees. Paraquat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has been linked to serious health risks, including Parkinson’s disease, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and childhood leukemia.

The Urgent Call: We all vote with our dollars daily. Perhaps it’s time to change the brand you purchase, let this company know your thoughts and go organic ?

Why Paraquat Is a Concern:

  1. Health Risks: Paraquat is so toxic that it has been banned in more than 60 countries. The EPA has even prohibited its use on golf courses. Workers who handle paraquat are more than twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease compared to those using other pesticides1.
  2. Environmental Impact: Paraquat can drift away from farmland, affecting nearby communities. This poses a risk to public health and the environment.

Regulations:

The EPA continues to defend its use in the U.S., despite mounting evidence of its negative impact on human health.

Fifty-eight countries, including China and members of the European Union, have banned paraquat due to its extreme toxicity, including its connection to Parkinson’s disease1Some of these countries include Austria, Denmark, Finland, Kuwait, Slovenia, Sweden, Chile, Germany, Hungary, South Korea, Indonesia, and Togo2.

Health Benefits:

Pomegranates are significant in terms of their health benefits. They include being an antioxidant, anti-inflammatant,  have anti-cancer and  heart benefits, and might be helpful for your urinary tract.

                  Rich in Antioxidants:

Take Aways:

  • Consuming pomegranates has enough potential benefits to warrant being part of your diet. 
  • Source organic juice with out added sugars
  • Eat them regularly in your salads to making a sorbet
  • Need 25 new recipe ideas on what to do with pomegranates ?see the food and wine article

 


References:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Paraquat-Related Illnesses and Injuries.” 1
  2. National Institute of Health (NIH). “Paraquat Exposure and Parkinson’s Disease Risk.” 2
  3. Antioxidants and Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Heber, D. (2008). Pomegranate Ellagitannins. In Nutrition Reviews, 66(6), 361-371. DOI: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2008.00054.x
  4. Anticancer EffectsLansky, E. P., & Newman, R. A. (2007). Punica granatum (pomegranate) and its potential for prevention and treatment of inflammation and cancer. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 109(2), 177-206. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2006.09.006
  5. Heart Health BenefitsAviram, M., & Dornfeld, L. (2001). Pomegranate juice consumption inhibits serum angiotensin converting enzyme activity and reduces systolic blood pressure. Atherosclerosis, 158(1), 195-198. DOI: 10.1016/S0021-9150(01)00412-900412-9)
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