As part of its wider mission of reducing the use of pesticides in food production, the US-based Pesticide Action Network has launched an iPhone app to decode pesticides for the non-expert consumer.
The downloadable free app can provide information on the most common, least harmful and most dangerous chemicals used on many produce items. Based on a searchable database of foodstuffs ranging from almonds to winter squash, the app can say which pesticides are on what foods, what the health risks associated with them are, as well as provide a comparison of organic and conventional varieties.
The app accesses food testing information from USDA's Pesticide Data Program database for toxicology and regulatory information for thousands of pesticides.
A straightforward legend of icons breaks them down into four classes of health risks: neurotoxins, hormone disruptors, carcinogens and developmental and reproductive toxins.
The app can also link to further information on pesticide prevention as well as to ways to become more involved.