Pesticide residue-free blueberries coming

PLANT CITY, Fla., April 28 (UPI) -- Pesticide residue-free blueberries are being sold in grocery stores at prices competitive with those of conventional blueberries, a Florida grower-shipper says.

Gary Wishnatzki, the president of Wishnatzki Farms, in Plant City, Fla. -- also known as Wish Farms -- says he began shipping pesticide residue-free blueberries from the Plant City area this month.


"I believe pesticide residue-free blueberries will be embraced by consumers," Wishnatzki says in a statement. "These berries will be more affordable than organics, which have a loyal following, but are too pricey for many customers. This alternative to organics will appeal to a much larger audience."

Wish Farms -- which says it ships about 6 million pounds of blueberries a year -- is the only shipper in the country to have blueberries approved by Scientific Certification Systems, a third-party organization that certifies environmental and safety claims, Wishnatzki says.

The pesticide residue-free certification involves field sampling and laboratory testing to guarantee no detectable pesticides -- less than .01 parts per million. Pesticide residue-free means a minimal amount of pesticides were used on crops, but no pesticide residues are found on the final product.


Wishnatzki Farms keep the price of its pesticide residue-free blueberries at or near the price of conventional berries because blueberries are relatively easy to grow with minimal pesticides, Wishnatzki told the Packer.

"A lot of blueberry growers are already doing it, they're just not marketing it as such," Wishnatzki said.

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