Organic food myth takes a knock – And are organic pesticides really safe?

Over the last fifteen years or so there has been a number of studies that have rendered the idea that “Organic” food is best. Lets be clear, all food is “organic”. But we are talking about the stuff that is sold (at higher cost) as being somehow better for the environment or better for you.

So it comes as no surprise that another study has come out that knocks that whole idea. The one line from the Guardian report that really did get on my nerves though, was the suggestion that Organic meant no pesticides.


In fact the only idea is that such pesticides should be “natural” in source. Well, can I remind you that arsenic and hemlock are “natural” and they’ll put a downer on your day.

In fact, because “natural” pesticides are so poor versus man-made ones, they have to be used more frequently and in greater quantities.

The idea that a field of organic lettuce is planted and left to it’s own devices is, sadly, very misguided.

So what sort of pesticides are used in “Organic” farming?

Well, how about this lot;

  • Rotenone – Which is listed as moderately hazardous by the WHO. It has been shown in studies to cause Parkinson’s Disease like conditions in mammals.
  • Pyrethrum – Which as Caroline Cox‘s 2002 study shows, is a carcinogenic compound.
  • Sabadilla – Which is highly toxic to honey bees. The very insects needed for cross pollination and a species in decline. Is there a connection perhaps?
  • Ryania – Which in high doses affects muscles, preventing contractions and result in paralysis

And that’s just the ones I’ve tracked down in 15 minutes. You in order to be a pesticide they have, by their very nature, have to be toxic.

Legislation against man-made pesticides is very high. It must be able to bio-degrade without trace. Such legislation ISN’T applied to organic pesticides.

Just remember that when chomping down on your next organic carrot.


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