Organic Pesticides Fail EU Safety Review
03/30/09 - OpenMarket by Greg Conko
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has rejected 13 of 27 commonly used "organic" pesticides. That organic carrot doesn't look as good any more.
[edited] Many people buy organic food because “they’re grown without pesticides.” That is not true. Organic farmers use a variety of chemicals to control insects and plant diseases, including potentially dangerous substances such as copper sulfate, rotenone, pyrethrum, ryania, and sabadilla.
These “organic” pesticides are derived from minerals or plants, are lightly processed, and thus are considered to be “natural” for use in organic agriculture. Yet, ounce for ounce, most are at least as toxic or carcinogenic as many of the newest synthetic chemical pesticides.
According to the Farmer’s Guardian newpaper, EFSA “has approved just 14 of the 27 organic pesticides put before it … although many have received a derogation for continued use.” Because more stringent rules are due to be promulgated next year, the European pesticide industry expects that more of the organic pesticides will be found unsafe.
Plants Make Natural Pesticides
To confuse the issue, plants produce their own carcinogenic pesticides in amounts that far exceed any residues from the pesticides applied by farmers. Fortunately, they have no significant affect on us. Broccoli, anyone?