How should we evaluate impact of substituting glyphosate for more toxic herbicides?

|
Photo by Lite-Trac

new paper was just published in the journal Science Advances that analyzes pesticide use data for farmers in the U.S. . .  The authors[‘s] . . . goal was to determine if pesticide use differed between farmers using GMO varieties and farmers who did not use GMO varieties. . . .

The major strength of the paper is their approach to comparing GMO-adopters to non-adopters, as their data set explicitly allowed this comparison. . . .

. . . .

Unfortunately, the authors based their analysis on two very flawed metrics if we want to infer anything regarding the impact of pesticide use changes. Perry et al. quantified the total weight of combined pesticides, and EIQ weighted pesticide use.

The recent report from the National Academy of Sciences explicitly discourages comparing the total weight of multiple pesticides . . . since the total weight applied gives little information about toxicity, exposure, or risk. . .

. . . .

Perry et al. use the EIQ anyway, because it is simple. But the simplicity of the EIQ is exactly what makes it a very poor indicator of risk. . . .

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: New study confirms herbicide use changed after adoption of GMO corn and soybean

  • Farmer with a Dell

    OK, so you’ve alerted us to two ways we shouldn’t evaluate herbicides comparatively, and correctly so. What methods ARE appropriate…if we must compare herbicides which, in itself, is an exercise of questionable value? How ’bout a constructive and unbiased suggestion from our agroecology seers for integrating various classes and applications of herbicides into the greater agricultural biome?