The Alliance for Food and Farming is taking its message and mission to the industry May 10.

Last July, the group launched www.safefruitandveggies.com to combat the media-fed perception that pesticide residues are a health concern for fresh produce.

The alliance is inviting members of the industry to participate in a free one-hour web seminar 11 a.m. (PDT) May 10 to hear about the campaign’s accomplishments in educating the public about the safety of fresh produce and the group’s future plans.

“Our industry thrives on the healthy and safely grown produce that promotes greater consumption with the all-important consumer confidence in our products,” said Bryan Silbermann, president of the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association, in a news release from the alliance.

PMA supports the Safe Fruits and Veggies initiative and is sponsoring the web seminar, according to the release.

Silbermann is part of the management board for the Alliance for Food and Farming, which represents about 50 produce trade groups, commodity boards and individual grower-shippers.

Silbermann said fear must be removed as a barrier to consuming produce. He said research indicates 60% of consumers have a high level of concern about pesticide residues on produce, and a recent survey found that 29% of consumers report they avoid eating some fresh produce because of concern over pesticide residues.

“This is something that simply cannot be ignored,” Silbermann said in the release.

The alliance last year published a scientific critique of the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list which concluded there is no evidence that the amount of pesticide residues found on fruits and vegetables present any health risks.

Registration for the seminar is online.

Group plans seminar on pesticide perceptions