Myth busting on pesticides: Despite demonization, organic farmers widely use them

One principal “advantage” of organic food over genetically modified conventionally grown crops, many consumers believe, is that organic food are free of pesticides. It’s not only much of the public believes that. Well-trusted non profits, such as Consumer Reports, promotes that view as well.

For example, in early 2015, it released “From Crop to Table Report,”which notes in one sub-headline, seemingly with horror, that “Pesticides are designed to be toxic to living organisms.” and has another info-box headlined, “Organic: Farming Without Pesticides.”screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-7-31-52-pm

But the headlines–promoting the widespread myth about organic farming–are flat out not accurate. The truth is, all farmers use pesticides. And these chemicals–some of which are among the most dangerous pesticides used by farmers today–are all with the approval of the US Department of Agriculture.

In fact, Consumer Reports backtracks from its misleading “Organic Farming: Without Pesticides” headline in its own info-box, which, like the overall article, is a mishmash of conflicting statements and cherry picked factoids. It notes, “Federal law prohibits the use of almost all synthetic pesticides on organic farms” and then a few paragraphs later, it contradictorily states, “Only 10 synthetic insecticides are approved for use on organic farms.”

CR is typical among organizations that have taken an advocacy, rather than a science-based, stance on the great debate over pesticide use and modern farming. This CR piece–now a standard part of CR’s outreach effort on food–was produced with the “expert” guidance of its chief consultant” Charles Benbrook, an agricultural economist pushed out as an adjunct professor at Washington State University in March 2015. Benbrook’s recent research comparing organic and conventional agriculture, published almost entirely in pay-for-play predatory journals, was financed entirely by advocacy anti-GMO organic organizations. [Read GLP Biotech Gallery profile of Benbrook]

Under Benbrook’s guidance, CR has subtly promoted the myth that organic farming can somehow magically control insects and weeds without using chemicals of one kind or another, and the ones that do use are less toxic than targeted synethic chemicals used by conventional farmers.

What does the science say?

Long list of organic pesticides

Some specific chemicals are not approved for use on organic farms, including organophosphates, glyphosate, atrazine and methyl bromide. But a surprisingly high number of pesticides are allowed. And some organic farmers would like government permission to use even more synthetic pesticides

The USDA National List of allowed pesticides for organic growers is quite long. The list includes some substances that one would assume would be relatively harmless, such as mulch, dairy cultures or vitamin B. But others on the list should raise eyebrows: Copper sulfate, elemental sulfur, borax and borates are all known to cause some harm to humans and are approved members of the organic list. Among “synthetic” pesticides, pyrethrums are still allowed, and Vitamin C that is chemically derived (and therefore synthetic) is allowed, as are various forms of alcohol.

Whether “natural” or “synthetic,” these chemicals have unintended side effects. As to safety differences between the two categories, “You can’t generalize that broadly,” said Rob Wallbridge, an organic farmer in Quebec, Canada. “Every pesticide has a different profile, and there are many different ways to define safety.”

Acute toxicity (measured by half of a lethal dose, or LD50) is very often used, but rates of exposure, persistence in the environment, chronic chemical effects, and impact on off-target animals and plants also are important considerations. One criticism of organic pesticides, in fact, is that a farmer has to use a lot of them to get the same effect as conventional pesticide. If it’s true that “the poison is in the dosage,” then some organic pesticides (like sulfur or copper) do not look very benign.

A September article in the GLP outlined just how extensively organic farmers use pesticides. Plant scientist Steve Savage broke out the latest California pesticide use data, dating to 2013, based on pounds. The categories that have organic-approved active ingredients are indicated with the USDA logo and together these comprise 55 percent of the total pounds applied. These materials are extensively used by both organic and non-organic growers. The conventional growers have additional options, but definitely use some of these same materials as part of a resistance management strategy and for other practical reasons. As the chart used, in California, the country’s leading agricultural state, organic farmers use more chemicals per pound than do conventional farmers.screen-shot-2015-09-28-at-7-20-49-pm-1024x744


What pesticides are used most often in organic farms?

  • Bt (the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis) is the most widely used pesticide, accounting for 90 percent of the organic pest control market. Ironically, Bt is also engineered into many GMO crops to express the Bt Cry protein (for example, Bt cotton, Bt soy, Bt corn), but is attacked by anti-GMO extremists as being ‘dangerous’)
  • Spinosad, an insecticide derived from soil bacteria (and can cause some irritation and redness with direct contact, according to the National Pesticide Information Center), is also very popular on organic farms.
  • Lime sulfur also has been used as a fungicide on organic crops. However, the EPA restricted its used in 2008 so that only professional pesticide appliers could use it. The reason? It was too caustic, capable of causing burns.
  • Kaolin clay, which provides a physical barrier to sun damage and to insects.
Related article:  Bee deaths and neonics: Inside story of Colony Collapse Disorder, Harvard's Chensheng Lu's crusade

According to Savage:

The mineral-based pesticides include the fungicide/miticide—sulfur, which is the most heavily used pesticide in California by a wide margin (27.6 percent of all the pounds). Sulfur has been used by farmers since ancient times. Other organic-approved, mineral pesticides include lime sulfur, and several different forms of copper. Copper fungicides were discovered in the late 1800s and saved the grape industry in Europefrom a disease introduced from the new world. On the whole, these mineral-based pesticides tend to be high use rate materials (2 to 10 to even 25 pounds/acre/application).  Thus the minerals only account for 12% of the area treated.screen-shot-2015-09-28-at-7-26-47-pm

The next major class of organic-approved pesticides are various petroleum-based oils (mineral oil, paraffinic oil, petroleum distillates). These materials are useful for control of several “soft bodied” insect pests and powdery mildew. Again, their use rates are high (~9 lbs/acre) so even though they represent 20.4 percent of the total pounds, they treat only 5.8 percent of the acreage.  Conventional farmers also use these products.

The remainder of the organic-approved pesticides are either natural products (chemicals from plants or fermentations of microbes), or live biological organisms. They are typically very low use rate materials but together still only account for 3.1 percent of the acre-treatments (see chart below).  They include the Bt insecticides that are based on the same proteins that are expressed in Bt-crops through biotechnology.

The fundamental misconception, addressed by Savage, is the issue of toxicity of residues in the food they eat. In fact, the pesticides in use today by both organic and conventional farmers have very low acute toxicity.screen-shot-2015-09-28-at-7-30-11-pm-1024x644

What about the potential for collateral damage to beneficial insects?

Anti-GMO activists have repeatedly claimed that certain chemicals, including the herbicide glyphosate used in conjunction with modified corn and other crops, have been responsible for reducing populations of bees, butterflies and other “non-target” species. Recent studies have challenged these claims. It’s also been documented that certain organic pesticides are far more lethal than any known GMO-linked pesticide. According to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, organic-approved pelylysticides including Beauveria bassiana, a naturally occurring fungus, diatomaceous earth, insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, pyrethrins, rotenone (another organic-approved synthetic which is now banned), spinosad, and copper sulfate can be very toxic to bees.

Surprising chemical loophole

In addition to these pesticides, organic farms are, in certain circumstances, permitted to use chemicals that are supposedly banned for organic use. One of these is methyl bromide, a fumigant that is used to boost strawberry growth. Although use of methyl bromide was banned several years ago, conventional growers can still use it if no viable alternatives are available. But organic farmers can also use it, for largely the same reasons. For “perennial planting stock,” those plants that are grown throughout the year, there aren’t many organic sources of the initial seedlings. So, organic farmers are allowed to use non-organic strawberry plants, complete with methyl bromide injected into the ground, and grow them as “organic” strawberries, as long as the plants are replanted and/or organically managed starting a year before harvesting.

No farmer likes pesticides. If it were possible to grow food without them, nobody would hesitate, but this isn’t possible. For anti-GMO activists to point at organic food as a “pesticide-free” alternative to genetically modified and other conventionally grown foods or suggest food grown using organic methods is safer is inaccurate at best. In fact, pesticide use overall has dropped steadily over the past two decades–and insecticide use in particular by more than 90%–as much due to genetically modified foods as to better tillage and other farming practices–and not because organics are “pesticide free.” All farming practices today are safer–and no particular method guarantees fewer chemicals, let alone fewer toxic chemicals.

Andrew Porterfield is a writer, editor and communications consultant for academic institutions, companies and non-profits in the life sciences. He is based in Camarillo, California. Follow @AMPorterfield on Twitter.

719 thoughts on “Myth busting on pesticides: Despite demonization, organic farmers widely use them”

  1. Regardless of who uses them, GMO farmers or organic farmers, if any chemical sprayed on crops causes human health problems, they shouldn’t be used, period.

    • ‘Ya think?

      Maybe that’s why EPA has authority to regulate pesticides via FIFRA. And USDA. And even FDA, sometimes.

      Got any other pearls of wisdom? Like making sure not to drop a bowling ball on your toes?

      • There are a myriad of them. I am surprised you are unaware of at least a few. For example, there are reproductive issues, gut bacteria issues, neurological issues, chronic issues and more!

        • All pesticides that are used today are thoroughly tested in animal feeding studies for the types of effects that you listed. The toxicology studies that support registrations are thoroughly reviewed by the regulatory agencies, and risk assessments are conducted before any regulatory decisions are made, either to approve or to disapprove of the registration. The decision documents pertaining to every pesticide are freely available on the internet. There is no “myriad” of such problems as you listed.
          Kleiss, this is not the first time that you have been thoroughly and completely instructed on this matter. You keep coming back and trolling this website with alarmist rhetoric that is not based on any fact. You should ask yourself why you are acting sociopathically in doing this. No one wants to read garbage.

          • This. I would much rather my food be treated with a thoroughly tested man-made chemical than an untested naturally occurring one.

  2. Arsenic and strychnine are prohibited if I read the document correctly.

    This doesn’t change the thrust of the above piece: organic uses pesticides.

    • Not only do organic farmers use pesticides, but when it comes to a pesticide like Bt, organic farmers wind up killing non-target insects when they broadcast this biological-control agent, while GMO Bt only kills the insects that try eating the crop.

          • It’s a protein. Bt crops express the same protein as Bt, which is insecticidal. What do you think happens to a protein when it hits that vat of acid in your stomach? Unless you have a bug’s digestive system, you’ll be fine.

          • Except that in our acid-refluxed culture of proton pump inhibitors and poor gut health, strong stomach acid is not a guarantee.

          • What? Acid reflux is a result of TOO MUCH stomach acid. The point is that the protein gets digested in the stomach, regardless of the quantity or pH of the stomach acid.

          • Actually acid reflux is a result of fermenting carbohydrate in the stomach due to LOW acid, and acid blockers make it worse. The point remains though that because so many people use acid blockers, their stomach acid is very low. And no, not all protein gets digested, especially not in whole foods full of cellulose.

          • OK, Gregor, in your specfic case it might apply. Upon reflection, I am sure it does.

          • So what would lead one to speculate that the acids degrade the Bt protein BEFORE the Bt protein affects the gut microbiome? Nothing I know of.

          • “Nothing I know of.” Really?? Sorry you don’t know about it. Sad. Just the science of the difference between an insect and human gut. So simple. Not speculation, it’s a fact. Look it up. Wait — don’t. You have already been given so many links to articles on the difference between the insect and human gut, which you still haven’t read, so don’t bother to look it up. Go out and smoke a doobie and look up at chemtrails and continue to speculate.

          • Poor Gregor. You really do have an insect gut, don’t you? Your story does not end happily. Kafka knows you all too well. And as we humans say in our language, it’s “piss off,” not “piss on.” Just sayin’.

            For the more human readers, there are many scholarly articles about Bt and its non-effect on the human gut, and how it is entirely different from the insect gut:


          • Here’s some Information on BT safety assesments from the German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BvL). Translated it says:

            Fragmented and even intact BT proteins have been detected in rumen of cattle (Wiedemann et al. 2006), but once in the digestive systemit it gets digested completely (Paul et al., 2010; Chowdhury et al., 2003; Einspanier et al., 2004; Lutz et al., 2005; EFSA-Report, 2008; Walsh et al., 2012b; EFSA-Opinion, 2008.
            Vazquez-Pedron et al. (2000) found six Cry1ac binding proteins in small intestine of mice but none of them had receptor-activity and Cry1ac did not increase membrane permeability. Furthermore, experiments with isolated rumen epithelial cells from sheep failed to show any negative effect even when BT proteins were applied at unrealistic high concentrations or at prolonged exposure times (Bondzio et al 2008, 2013, Stumpf et al, 2007).
            Possible effects of BT on the bionome
            are extremely unlikely since the bacterial cytomembrane is surrounded by a complex cell wall made out of peptoglycans which is impermeable for anything but the smallest molecules and the bacterial cytomembrane itself is devoid of any BT-binding proteins.
            Feeding studies with pigs (which have a human-style bionome (Heinritz et al., 2013)) showed no effects of BT on this bionome (Einspanier et al., 2004; Wiedemann et al., 2007; Trabalza-Marinucci et al., 2008; Buzoianu et al., 2012a; Buzoianu et al., 2012b; Yuan et al., 2013).
            I found it quite informative reading. I can give you the original like if you like. It’s in German but gives a complete literature list.

          • If you have time please read the links gmwatch gives. The articles by Vasques et al. describe the immune reactions after injecting high concentrations of (sometimes crystaline) BT Proteins into mice. Injecting undigested proteins into mice (or any other animal) always generate an immune Response since the body thinks there’s an infection. Nothing bad about those papers but they do not deal with the consumption of BT. The remaining paper is that of Aris & LeBlanc which is the only one ever claiming the presence of BT in human blood. It is pretty easy to read but if you follow their set up, you will find some serious problems. The BT values measured are all at or even below the detection Limit of their test-kit, in other words: you cannot distinguish this from the background. And it gets worse as the control solutions were in water and not in blood Serum and then they had no control group of patients definitively not exposed to BT. Later I read that the Kit they used was for testing plant extracts and not suited for testing animal extracts (way more Proteins).
            Stay vigilant but these papers should not give you sleepless nights.

          • Baloney. One can criticize anything. An extremely complex scientific study is child’s play to criticize.

            You “scientific geniuses” vastly increase the occurence of Bt toxins–and you have little idea what effect you are having on humanity or on the biosphere by so doing. There is significant evidence Bt enters the blood streams of people, and there is significant evidence that it is destructive there.
            Hematotoxicity of Bacillus thuringiensis as Spore-crystal Strains Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac or Cry2Aa in Swiss Albino Mice–
            You folks seem to me as blind as bats–if you do not have a scientific study clearly and inarguably showing very severe problems with the specific chemical or mutation you are working with, you think its perfectly OK to douse or mutate the world with it!

            I would certainly hope that people had the intention to make helpful changes In the world, not whatever suits their darn fancy. About this, however, I am totally unconvinced.

          • Your loopy convictions are of no consequence. If loopy fear mongers like you had prevailed we wouldn’t have indoor plumbing, electricity, wireless radios, GPS, telephones, vehicular transportation, probably not even the wheel or fire. Consider all of the damage to humanity your obsessed Chicken Little ilk has caused and is still attempting to cause through unwarranted nitpicking delay and destruction of technological progress.

          • It is just senseless. I am talking about real serious problems with a new technology that is vastly different than any used before–you dismiss me–Chicken Little! Tell me, just what do you have against due precaution? Your kind of thinking–full speed ahead damn the torpedoes–make a big show about being scientific, but do whatever you please–will screw us up big-time.

          • Um, Bt has been tested a few times. Maybe thousands. You have been given link after link of the assessments. You need more?
            “Due precaution” is just another way of saying “precautionary principle” = “even though we have many safety tests, they are never enough unless we can conclude with 100% certainty that they are safe, even though there is no such standard of safety or predictability in the entire universe.”
            Yes, it is senseless. Yes, you are dismissed.

          • And yet another report on the safety of Bt. It does point out you do not want to inhale it or get it in your eyes, which might be possible using organically approved Bt spray, but that would not be experienced when it is built into the corn, as it is in genetically engineered Bt corn, because it is broken down in the human gut entirely differently than it is in an insect gut.

            So, if you are an insect, stay away from it. If you are a human, don’t worry about it. If you are an organic corn grower, don’t spray it in your face. But make sure to spray enough to kill the corn borer so there are no neurologically toxic mycotoxins (although you are also unfortunately going to inadvertently kill other innocent non-target insect species as well):


          • News alert–it will not be long before Bt is ineffective because insects have developed resistance. Guaranteed. So then you will introduce some new in-the-plant insecticide that is more harmful. And again. You GMOers are just not studying nature enough, or thinking enough, before you make substantial changes, trying to walk away with a nice profit! We all wish that you would study agricultural ecology at least half enough so that you had sufficient understanding of the changes you are making.

          • Man, you are a dog on a bone on Bt. No matter what links and info is posted here, you know what you know, dammit, and no friggin’ science is gonna change YOUR mind.

            OK, for other people who do care: Pesticide resistance (as well as herbicide resistance) is not a GE issue. It can happen with any pesticide (or herbicide) if IPM protocols are not followed. Bt crops require, by contract with the seed seller, insect refuges to prevent insect resistance.

          • Bt resistance–very big problem to you’ll go-go-GMOers who disdain agricultural ecology, far from solved. And a very big problem to society, which is going to reap a flood of broadly toxic chemicals in the world because of poorly planned GMO’s.

          • Ah, finally, you admit it — you think you study “agricultural ecology” — you are a damned fool ‘agroecologist’! That explains everything! Your utter lack of education and practice in agriculture. Your wispy dreamy ideals of a parallel universe where everything plods along in lock step with your retrograde imagination. Your wild eyed fear and hatred of technology in agriculture. Your limitless capacity to misunderstand and misrepresent modern farming and its role in supporting your own modern standard of living.

            Yep, agroecology — ‘who needs science when we have storytelling?’

          • Yes–and you really ought to understand something–those maybe thousands of tests do not show that Bt is not having serious consequences that are not presently understood. In other words, our scientific understanding of all of these things is sorely limited. A wise scientist knows that. But you go-go-GMOers foolishly imagine that you have everything consequential understood. You don’t, and you are acting wildly!

          • You mean, thousands of tests aren’t enough. Yet your organic food, including that produced with irradiation and chemicals to scramble genes randomly, with zero testing, monitoring, or oversight, are okay, even though they are “….not presently understood.”
            Your lack of science acumen and logic are appalling.

          • And you wonder why I say it is a huge mistake to support the GO Go GMO crowd? Because you’ll have little if any understanding of natural integrity, ittle if any respect for life, and little if any concern for others.

          • Whatever. We know you think you are the only one who thinks he has high integrity and concern for life. Go play with the Greenpeace people.

          • With all due respect, this article can be summed up as “Organic farming is just as bad as our way of doing thing, therefore let’s keep doing things our (Monsanto’s) way and not try to improve things with new standards”. Not only is that wrong, it is a pathetic and low place to argue from.

            The goals of Organic standards are to minimize chemicals in foods which are detrimental to human health, and encourage farming in more sustainable ways. To this end they have succeeded. The choices of approved pesticides in the standard are specifically made to improve upon the conventional standards, as are the practices to improve soil viability and biodiversity.

            In the case of animal farming the difference is also clear. We can measure the levels of exogenous hormones and see they are greatly decreased. And animals fed quality food will produce better quality food themselves. QED :p

          • Your goals may be lofty, but on the ground, organic farming has been shown to be much less sustainable re: water use, soil tilling, and toxicity of pesticides.

          • In case you did not realize it, the changes you are making with genetic engineering are properly considered in a different catagory altogether than the other changes you mentioned, and conflating these different things gives ample cause to be seriously concerned about your understanding of the issues involved.

          • “…a different category altogether…”

            That is your opinion and that is of no value to anyone with a modern life to live.

            The only categorical difference is in your relative familiarity and comfort with any given technology. You’ve grown up with indoor plumbing and (hopefully) know how to manage housekeeping and hygiene to keep yourself not only safe but cleaner and healthier than your great-great grandparents could. You’ve grown accustomed to plugging in and switching on appliances with not a care or a jot of concern about being electrocuted or having those little electrons flowing out of control and burning the place down while you sleep. Same for cell phones, automobiles, fire, all the rest.

            But genetic engineering and modern agriculture you fear because you don’t understand it and you somehow think you haven’t been living with it all this time. What do you think has been keeping you so safely and amply fed all your life, and all your parents’ lives? Modern agricultural technology, that’s what. And if you think you’ve all subsisted on alternative yuppie food instead, all this time, what do you suppose made it possible for you and your parents and probably your grandparents to enjoy the effete wealth and leisure you all have been squandering? It never occurs to you a few of us farm so a lot of you don’t have to — instead you can putter away at selling insurance or cars or appliances or advertising or health services or fire protection or home security or tie-dyed tee shirts or otherwise systematically screwing someone out of their money…and still have ample time to invest in carping about things you dislike and freaking out over things you do not understand.

            But, hey, that’s America. Too bad you can’t appreciate how really good you’ve got it. You could dedicate yourself to doing some of that morally rewarding stoop labor gardening and farming you like to indirectly advocate. Maybe if you hitch up your overalls and demonstrate the practicality of your absurd ramblings we might take you seriously? You know, cut the crap and just simply show us how easy and lucrative and righteous it can be. Just do that, Chicken Little. Until then your opinions aren’t worth a glass of warm spit.

          • You can be as ugly to me as you are–your priviledge. Putting large amounts of broadly harmful chemicals in the biosphere is in your power, but not your right.

            Be non-informed about the gunk you spread! Brilliant. I guess that you never met a chemical you don’t like. You may have a big heart, but you have a regretably small mind.

            Yea, human populations and diet have grown by leaps. That can not possibly continue, and we are facing a huge die-off–which will be considerably worse because people have been doing so much that ecologically is just not sensible.

            I am trying to point out, so that people can see it, how irresponsible so many of the technologies we have been using are–how destructive of the biological health of the planet–on which we depend.

            But we have a huge problem–people’s minds are dominated by weak consciousness that just fails to see the real life and death issues that confront us.

            Please people, break out of the sing-song mold and realize that we, as a society, should drastically reform our actions ecologically and politically.

            Being extremely careful before putting our hands directly on the DNA, and changing it, is so clearly appropriate that I have to seriously doubt the motivation of people who would by-pass that step.

          • Poor Gregor (named after the, um, interesting main character in Kafka’s “Metamorphosis”) just can’t wrap his brain around the science of modern gene techniques. It might be incapacity to understand, or just plain refusal to understand.

            As my mother used to say, “None are so blind as those who will not see.”

          • Look people, if you want the genes of your plants changed by thought-deprived people, you are making one huge mistake. Monsanto has proven itself to be a money-grubbing poison spewing monster–and multiple go-go-GMO advocates on this site are in the same league.

          • Poor Shenandoah. Utterly bamboozled by his own corporate conspiracies. Stick to organic, dude. They are a $70 billion money-grubbing industry, but they are right up your alley.

          • Eat what you want.
            And so will I.
            Your foodie religious test for getting into your corporate-conspiracy heaven does not require that you prosetylize and convert me.
            Eat thee whateva.

          • The conflation is intentional, as theirs is a propaganda game. You and i are interested in reality. They are smokescreening reality. Reality is not their problem. The reality is that others seeing reality is their problem so they obscure it, scramble others intentionally. This is the definition of gaslighting.

          • It’s hard for me to understand where people are coming from. The hatred of and ignorance about Organic food is appaling. Many many people seem to have very little touch with goodness. I don’t know where we are going–many fried or flooded ecosystems seems very likely.

          • He doesn’t read his own links, which often conclude the opposite from what he says they do, and he sure as H does not read the legit links about Bt. He doesn’t read anything except …. these posts, I guess.

          • He frequently posts articles that say the opposite of what he claims they say. It is very sad….

          • Shenandoah is convinced, absolutely convinced, that his stomach is like an insect’s stomach. Is he an insect?

          • Right. Distance, time…also acids and various highly effective protease enzymes. That’s Mother Nature — belt & suspenders! And that’s anti-GMO zealots — pants down around their ankles!

          • And spraying Bt (on corn, for example) kills innocent non-target insect species that are similar to the corn borer, even tho they are not doing anything except having the bad misfortune to be hanging out in the corn field when the spraying is done. Bt IN the corn means only the corn borer that eats the corn dies. Nothing else dies. And the insect gut is different from the human gut, so Bt does not affect people, only those insects actually eating that Bt crop.

          • It maybe, but you should really recognise that that is a guess–this can only be determined after much more careful testing. You think you understand the entire range of impacts that the Bt will have, but that is just a fantasy. You don’t, the Genetic Engineerers are being Sorcerer’s Apprentices bigtime. As is your want. Thanks lots.

          • Poor Gregor. As an insect, you particularly should stay far away from Bt. Even Kafka knew that.

          • You pour massive amounts of chemicals in our agroecosystems which you simply do not understand the effects of. You are radically messing up the subtle network of life in your foolhardy rush to make and use new chemicals and plants. You folks are setting back life on Earth by leaps and bounds. I devoutly wish that your interest in developing understanding was one-tenth as strong as you pretend.

          • Poor Mr. Samsa. Stay far away from Bt. Your insect gut is not like that of us humans. Very very dangerous. Stay in your room. It is the only place you are safe. While you are there, becoming more of a beetle every day, you might read a book or two. Start with junior high science, and move on to Kafka. You don’t want to be drenched, doused, soaked, and drowned in chemicals. Bt would be very very bad for you, Gregor.

          • And I wish that you realized that what we want to do is enhance the biological functioning of the biosphere–not just your own wealth and leasure.

          • Nope. Wrong sound. Try more of a squeaking kind of sound. Actually, it is more of a hissing type of sound.

          • There are well-done scientific studies indicating Bt does effect people. This is no surprise, to anyone who fairly considers the nature of extremely complex biological systems. But, as usual, there is a whole group of people and extremely wealthy corporations who are ready to rush into making massive changes in the biosphere because by so doing they will make a handsome personal profit–and they will throw all kinds of stupid insults at people questioning the goodness of what they are doing. Welcome to the blank-headed corporate world.

          • Only studies I’ve seen that indicate Bt affects people are done with doses far in excess of what anyone could even conservatively expect to encounter. Be careful about speaking of things like affects of inputs without specifying dosing.

          • My god, you really DON’T have basic comprehension skills. This report says the following:

            “The toxicity and elevated production costs of CT or LT have limited their application in human vaccines [2, 8]. In contrast, δ-exotoxin-free Bt preparations containing Cry proteins have no significant toxicity for mammals [29] and large-scale production of recombinant Cry1Ac protein is easy and cheap [11, 12]. These facts and the findings described in this paper suggest that Cry1Ac may indeed be a convenient systemic and mucosal carrier and adjuvant for use in human and animal vaccines.”

            Your lack of understanding of this article is very, very sad. But then again, you have been exposed to Bt, Gregor, and your mind is getting more and more confused. Please just go hiss elsewhere. Your scuttling around with your Bt-infused insect gut is pathetic, and tiring.

          • Your disgraceful and meaningless put-downs reveal your utter lack of genuine concern about spreading genuine understanding of these issues.

            The paper reveals Bt has significant effects upon human biology–unlike your idea that you can just hugely increase the occurence of Bt toxins without affecting the biosphere. You just do not know what you are doing to all of us, but hey, you can earn big bucks. That is extremely short-sighted and weak.

          • If you firmly believe that, all science notwithstanding, then, dear Gregor, there is a very simple solution.
            Stay. Away. From. It.

            And I earn zero bucks, but thanks for your vote of confidence in my amazingly brilliant writing.

          • His source actually says the exact opposite of what he alleges it says.
            The paper he cites says the following:
            “The toxicity and elevated production costs of CT or LT have limited their application in human vaccines [2, 8]. In contrast, δ-exotoxin-free Bt preparations containing Cry proteins have no significant toxicity for mammals [29] and large-scale production of recombinant Cry1Ac protein is easy and cheap [11, 12]. These facts and the findings described in this paper suggest that Cry1Ac may indeed be a convenient systemic and mucosal carrier and adjuvant for use in human and animal vaccines.”

          • This study shows that Bt significantly effects human biology. Do you think you have to have a clear scientific demonstation of every detail, before you can act? That is scientific ignorance. The bio-engineered Bt you’ve been spreading abundantly all over the Earth is having unknown effect on the biosphere. You literally do not know what you are doing.

          • I will repeat what the study says. Listen carefully, Gregor.
            “….have NO significant toxicity for mammals….”
            That means no poisonous effects on mammals. You are a mammal. Unless you are an insect (are you, Gregor?), then you are not a mammal.
            Get it?

          • “There are well-done scientific studies indicating Bt does effect people. ” …and yet I see no links to said studies…

          • I asked and asked him to post credible links. Crickets. I posted link after link of scholarly articles showing the difference between the insect gut and the human gut, and how the latter is not affected by Bt. Stubborn repeating of that unsubstantiated claim from him.
            I finally concluded he may be, indeed, an insect that may indeed be harmed by Bt (GE or organic), like Gregor Samsa in Kafka’s wonderful story Metamorphosis. I have advised him to therefore stay far away from Bt of any kind because of his rock-solid rigid stubborn certainty that Bt will affect his gut (insect? human?).
            Maybe Kafka was right.

          • And your irrefutable evidence that these minuscule traces are associated with discernible disease or malformation? Your agitated personal opinion is of no value. Citations from the scientific literature please.

          • Now hear this. When Inside-the-plant Bt was approved, it was on the basis that it would be eliminated in the digestive system of organisms consuming it. If it gets to the blood stream, a whole topic that was before by-passed has to be studied.

            Also, there is evidence that there are very harmful effects.–

            Hematotoxicity of Bacillus thuringiensis as Spore-crystal Strains Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac or Cry2Aa in Swiss Albino Mice

          • Ah, your evidence grows slimmer and slimmer as you stagger from one story to the next. First you crank the air raid siren over glyphosate, but there is no credible evidence of harm from trace levels so you sidestep over to Bt, for which the only suggestion of possible toxicity is reported by a researcher who basically refuted his own conclusion with another study a couple of years later. No effect from oral dosage.


            One lab generating inconsistent results. Not very convincing, actually not convincing at all.

          • You can pull apart anything you want to. The question is, how long are you’ll going to go on making massive, not sufficiently understood changes in our agroecosystems?

          • Hematotoxicity of Bacillus thuringiensis as Spore-crystal Strains Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac or Cry2Aa in Swiss Albino Mice

            Bélin Poletto Mezzomo, Ana Luisa Miranda-Vilela*, Ingrid de Souza Freire, Lilian Carla Pereira Barbosa, Flávia Arruda Portilho, Zulmira Guerrero Marques Lacava and Cesar Koppe Grisolia*

            Department of Genetics and Morphology, Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Brasilia, Brasilia/DF, Brazil

            Journal of Hematology & Thromboembolic Diseases–


          • Ha! And a couple years later the same lead researcher fairly demonstrated his own earlier studies could not be replicated when oral dosing showed no effect, and cast uncertainty upon his own methodology when he recorded an inverted dose-response curve for injectable dosing. This is characteristic of biased and/or shoddy science. Hardly anything a sane, well reasoned person would embrace as grounds for eliminating genetic engineering in toto.


          • Which study? Citation? The cited material– etc–is only very distantly related.

            I have never advocated eliminating genetic engineering in toto. I have been pleading for carefulness in its use–like not releasing megatons of a highly toxic chemical into the biosphere, which is the action of uncareful, irresponsible, short-sighted people.

          • Just a little bit of histrionic over-the-top exaggeration, but we get your drift. And when you can give a good cite that there are “megatons of a highly toxic chemical into the biosphere,” then please post it here. We eagerly await.
            Oh, but please do NOT send any more pseudoscience activist garbage from GMwatch, OK?

          • I live near one of many rivers completely destroyed by PCBs. Destroyed? Well the river is still there, and it’s beautiful, but all the people know that we cannot swim in it, nor can we fish from it or eat the ducks. A local person did eat ducks from the river in 2014 and he died in 2015 of unexplained hypothermia. He was near heat but his body shut down due to the PCBs disrupting his endocrine system so severely that this young man who was beloved by all died at a tender young age. He should be here now. Monsanto was the cause. Monsanto’s lies for profit in the 1930s to 1970s. General Electric was complicit in dumping the chemicals into the River. These are the same people now in control of our government and our food supply. Sounds like good idea, eh? They seem responsible, eh?

          • Nope, you’ve got it just backward (why am I not surprised?). You, shenendoah, may continue making up whatever you like (no one can dissuade you from it) and I will continue living in the real world (it’s just the world, after all), where we’ve successfully and uneventfully coexisted with GE foods for over 2 decades now and, no doubt will continue to do so for many, many generations to come.

          • What could go wrong? Not much, especially now that the U.S. is energy independent and it looks like we have another 150 years of oil and gas ahead of us…which is a good thing because none of you freaked out gloom and doom prophets have figured out the alternative to oil during the last century and a half, now you twisted know-it-alls have another century and a half hopefully to do more this time than wring your hands and cry in your organic corn flakes. Get with the program and demonstrate your easy peasy answers so we all might be enlightened. That’s DEMONSTRATE, don’t bother lecturing us any more, just show us.

          • I wrote “what could go wrong?” ironically. The use of fossil fuels is having catastrophic effects on our climate. Only an in-the-dark person can fail to see this.

            We have “uneventfully” coexisted with GMO’s over 2 decades now? That’s a big unjustified statement. What has all that glyprosate done? This is unknown.

            It is impossible that it has done nothing–and quite possible that it has severly impacted soil microorganisms, intestinal microorganisms, endochrine systems, nervous systems, cancer occurence in people, and many other things.

            I suggest, practice, and use radical energy conservation, wind electricity, and solar energy–and stopping a practice common for the last 100+ years–creating and putting into the biosphere large amounts of chemicals which have poorly understood effects on life–a practice which ecologically and toxicologically ignorant people have been doing with a vengence.

            Haven’t you ever noticed–as capital in the hands of a tiny minority increases, the living world decreases.

          • And, they engaged in denialism since the early 1980s. They knew of global warming and instead of changing course, they doubled down and engaged in gaslighting their critics and hiding their knowledge, and attacking those who said “Hey… but…” Same as the chemical industry now with glyphosate. Chemical risk denialism. The new global warming denialism. These are evil people. There is no other word for people who harm their species for their own personal enrichment.

          • This reminds me of something else I suspect you embrace–Radiation? No Problem–we will just spread many tons of highly radioactive material aroung the middle east–because we are so concerned about the health of those people!

          • OK, that’s about enough. Now you are ranting about the middle east and some sort of veiled threats of radiation — irrational gibberish and you’re beginning to scare us a little bit. So, calm down, take your meds and don’t do anything regrettably stupid that will get you on the 6 o’clock news. Just chill, man.

          • Yea, you just chill–and stop acting out and advocating small-minded, uncareful, insensitive, destructive, and selfish ecological change. Please.

          • Thankfully, the only place we’re likely to be exposed to Bt spore crystals are on organic foods. Yet another reason to avoid them!

          • It’s really more like that I think studies are meaningful if they actually study the issue at hand. But, I get it….. In lieu of that, something that sounds kinda similar will fool enough people to get your point across.

          • That study does lay out a clear problem. The solution? Don’t inject yourself with Cry1Aa, Ab, Ac or Cry2Aa spore crystals.

            What does this have to do with GM crops now?

          • Did you even read this article or just the headline? If the latter, you’re going to be disappointed in the content.

          • No, sorry, but that’s not the case. Butterflies such as monarch butterfly feed on corn pollen. When that corn pollen contains Bt toxin, guess what? It kills the Monarch butterfly, and is having huge impact on their native populations. That’s why Monsanto is creating this “save the butterfly” campaign, even though it’s their toxic products that are killing millions of butterflies.

          • Nope. Check your facts. The monarch butterfly feeds on milkweed. The corn borer is that insect that eats the corn, and they are the ones affected by Bt. Want to please look it up before you post?

          • Wait, what?? I will give you that there is probably some critter out there that eats corn pollen–but the Monarch ain’t it.

      • No sorry Mishca, but that’s not the case. Butterflies such as monarch butterfly feed on corn pollen. When that corn pollen contains Bt toxin, guess what? It kills the Monarch butterfly, and is having huge impact on their native populations. That’s why Monsanto is creating this “save the butterfly” campaign, even though it’s their toxic products that are killing millions of butterflies.

      • the science i read says BT is BS and doesnt kill the insects it was designed to,so then they spray it with chemicals. people in India have been poisoned from this crap and large doses causes depression and suicides. go look that up, theirs a documentary about all this crap!

        • Citation on that, please. Bt works very well on the crops it’s intended for, in eradicating critters that attack that particular crop. Like the corn borer.
          Organic farmers are the ones who spray Bt (which is allowed under organic certification), which unfortunately can also kill non-target insects that aren’t even eating that crop.
          Bt does not work in the human gut. Only in insect guts. So blaming Bt as a “poison” is ridiculous. Of course, you wouldn’t want to spray it on your cereal, because that’s not how it’s intended to be used. But any insecticide (or herbicide) when used as directed is not a “poison.” So either provide a reliable citation for that ridiculous claim, or back off.
          An activist pseudoscience documentary, by the way, means squat. They’re a dime a dozen.

      • That is entirely false. What GMO Bt crops do is that they can resist HERBICIDE that is used in massive quantities so that the herbicides do not kill the interested crops, but only the “pests”, which is why they are also known as “Roundup Ready.” This makes it so they have many more toxic pesticides, herbicides and chemicals on them than even sprayed conventional varieties. Some GMO varieties are actually engineered to produce their own herbicide and pesticide so that the toxic chemicals permeate throughout the plant. There is no washing it off. Fact remains is that GMO Bt crops use MORE pesticides, in orders of multitudes more that end up extremely harmful to humans. This all being said is Roundup has been proven positive to cause tumors. Yet there is more. BT crops like BT Corn and Golden rice have been failing worldwide and leaving farmers destitute. Unlike conventional and organic varieties they cannot stand up to droughts and other changing environmental conditions and require sometimes as much as 3 times as much water (which is incredibly difficult in places like arid India), they cannot stand up to quickly evolving pests like bollworms and their high costs are leading to 100s of thousands of farmer suicides. No joke, look it up. Farmer suicides in India tied to GMOs.

    • Thanks for the catch. Those got mixed in there inadvertently. And you’re right: the use of “organic” pesticides is still substantial.

      • In addition to “organic” pesticides, there is also the fact that a whopping 43% of all organic food sold in America tests positive for prohibited, or synthetic pesticides. This is because there is no field testing to prevent fraud.

        • Do you have an valid source for that statement – regarding 43% of all organic food sold in the US test positive for either prohibited or synthetic pesticides? This was interesseting.

        • I think your comment is deliberately misleading when it states that “43 % of all organic food sold in America tests positive for prohibited, or synthetic pesticides” “because there is no field testing to prevent fraud”

          That is not what the report you listed as your source concluded with, rather it said that these residues were most likely a result of the farming methods used on neighboring farms:

          “there can be inadvertent or indirect contact from neighboring conventional farms or shared handling facilities.”

          and for that reason the report states that:

          “As long as the operator hasn’t directly applied prohibited pesticides and has documented efforts to minimize exposure to them, the USDA organic regulations allow residues of prohibited pesticides up to 5 percent of the EPA tolerance.”

          and the overall conclusion is:

          “Of these 571 samples, 96 percent were compliant with USDA organic regulations (see Figure ES1). This means that the produce either had no detected residues (57 percent) or had residues less than 5 percent of the EPA tolerance (39 percent). Four percent of the tested samples contained residues above 5 percent of the EPA tolerance and were in violation of the USDA organic regulations. The findings suggest that some of the samples in violation were mislabeled conventional products, while others were organic products that hadn’t been adequately protected from prohibited pesticides.”

          That is a very different statement than the one you made.

          • What exactly did the CBC agree with you on? They found that according to their tests 8 % of the tested organic fields, IN CANADA (In the US the number was 4 % remember), had residue-levels above 5 % of MRL, which INDICATES deliberate use. Was that your point as well?

          • No… what the CBC concluded was that the inordinately high levels of pesticide contamination in organic food could not possibly be the result of spray drift.

            As explained, spray dissipates logarithmically. This is why organic fields are required to have a 25-foot buffer.

            43% of organic food in America, and 46% in Canada, tested positive for prohibited pesticides because organic farmers somewhere in the world are cheating. Plain and simple.

            And there’s cheating in this multibillion dollar industry because there’s no field testing.

          • You might be right, but can you please direct me to what part of the article you posted as a source that document it? I can only find these statements on the results of the cbc news investigations:

            “As much as eight per cent of organic produce tested by Canadian inspectors has so much pesticide residue that experts say there is a strong indication synthetic chemicals were deliberately used, a CBC News investigation has found.”

            “In an analysis of two years of testing conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), CBC News found eight per cent of organic fresh fruit and vegetables would be in the category that the agency says would imply deliberate pesticide use.”


          • The USDA’s 5% rule only applies in cases where contamination of an organic crop was inadvertent. We cannot allow it to be applied to farmers who might wish to spray their “organic” crops with prohibited pesticides, and then wait until the contamination levels dissipated to below the acceptable level.

          • So many cheaters in the organic industry… Something needs to be done.. I bet a substantial amount of Organic corn is also GMO, no tests are done. It is way to easy to cheat If I was an Organic canola I could fill my truck up with 1/2 my canola, stop at the neighbors place and fill the rest of the truck with non Organic canola and just show them my Organic paper work and I have just made 4x more than any farmer growing the crop legally.

          • What you describe would have been difficult, if not impossible, back when I was inspecting. A stringent audit would quickly expose what you describe, but I can’t say for certain if organic inspectors do such audits anymore.

            If we assume someone like me does a proper audit, the only way left for you to cheat would be to use synthetic fertilizer and pesticides on your organic crop. And this is why organic field testing is so important, but no one’s doing it.

          • Make Money? I’m sorry, but I don’t follow.

            Organic farmers pay to be certified, but all they’re paying for is paperwork.

            The cost of a field test would be less than one-tenth what organic farmers are currently forced to pay for organic certification.

          • What you describe would have been difficult, if not impossible

            Nope, easy peasy.

            . A stringent audit would quickly expose what you describe, but I can’t say for certain if organic inspectors do such audits anymore.

            How??? and are there any stringent audits?

            the only way left for you to cheat would be to use synthetic fertilizer and pesticides on your organic crop

            Isnt that the whole point of organic? If I can use synthetic pesticides and fertilizer what is the point??

          • Exactly. I don’t know if there are any stringent audits anymore. I certainly did them when I was an organic inspector. But I knew a lot of inspectors who were too lazy.

            As for using prohibited substances on an organic field, this is why we need organic field testing. Unannounced, across-the-board field testing.

          • Well if it isn’t a know-it-all, who thinks he knows more than anyone else, especially organic farmers. GROW UP!

          • No, I definitely agree with you here, but I am not yet convinced that this is actually happening in the scale that you say it does. So far I have only been given proof that samples have been above the 5 % limit in 4 % of the cases in the US and 8 % of the cases in Canada (based on a very few, and not necessarily representative, samples). And even though I understand your objections to the regulatory regime of today`s America (concerning imported products, lack of field testing of domestically grown products during instead of after the growing season, and field testing instead of shelf-testing), I can not accept your guilty till proven othervise approach to this.

            But in general I support strict regulations on organic produce, to protect the organic-label from contamination.

          • Who said anyone was guilty?

            What I know is that unless samples are taken in the field, the test results are largely meaningless.

            It is quite telling… not to mention disturbing… that 43% of organic food tests positive for prohibited pesticides. But the 5% rule we’re discussing applies in the field, not at the store shelf.

          • I’m going to try to help you out here Mr. Ole J. Hansson…

            Spray dissipates logarithmically. This means that for every yard you travel across the fence line from a conventional field into an organic field, there is 10-times LESS pesticide residue. And by the time you reach the 8-yard mark (or 25 feet) there is only a dramatically-small percentage of pesticide residue left. In fact, in most cases, it has dissipated to what is called “effective nil,” which is as close to zero (0) as you can get.

          • The 5% rule is entirely approrpiate. The problem here is that organic crops are supposed to be inspected in the field, not on the store shelf. That’s how organic certification works.

            I was a USDA-contract organic inspector for 5 years. Sorry if I came off as condescending. I really was trying to help you out. But I apologize nonetheless.

          • Ok, then you are entitled to a bit of condescendingness, maybe 15 %? ; )

            So you are saying that at the moment, when testing is being made, they are done on the product on the shelves, and not in the fields, and that this should change ASAP, right? Because that would ensure that…(please elaborate, I didn`t quite get the point here, why this makes the testing better able to detect frauds?) ?

            (Your underlying wish here is to improve the USDA-inspections of the organic industry, so that consumers will better know what they pay for, right?)

            (Thank you for sharing your knowledge to a newcomer in the field..)

          • My dad is an organic farmer! He is certified annually by the USDA :) He does not use ONE “approved” item on the list. It’s all natural, etc. He pulls weeds by hand, he hires help to pull them by hand. He just contracted not too long ago to sell organic popcorn to Jolly Time. his popcorn beats store bought popcorn ANY day! :D

          • Pulling weeds is not Natural, letting the weeds grow and propagate is Natural. And crap he grows Popcorn, that is a human made crop. Can you get anymore unnatural?
            Oh yes you can, you sell the corn to Jolly Time a popcorn behemoth, thanks for proving that your Dad is a sell out.

          • The Rights of Nature folks will be on her for pullin’ them natcheral weeds. They’re a part of our ecosystem and have a right to be there, as do fungus-spreading pests like the corn borer.

          • Hmmmm. Yeah, you are right. And so is Zika, and malaria, and citrus greening, and … and …. gee, why are we interfering with nature trying to feed ourselves better and to stay healthier? Isn’t it our duty to die of totally natural malnutrition and disease? Shouldn’t that be a national goal?

          • Yeah, you folks can pretend any chemical or plant you dream up and force together is natural–and then you claim scientific justification. What misleading phooey.

          • He’s not a sellout. You would NEVER be able to win an argument against him. You’re stupid to say what you said.

          • That is sweet. How many acres does he grow? How many weed hand-pulling laborers does he employ for that acreage? And how much are they paid per hour? I am curious about the economics and efficiencies of this method.

          • I’m not 100% sure. I know he has a bunch. I don’t know how much he pays the laborers. He hires migrant workers and takes people from the homeless shelter who are on the level of being able to work. I do not pay attention to that. LOL. Farming is NOT my cup of tea :)

          • It was the first part of a two-part answer. Sorry for that.

            Since I have baffled you I will simply reiterate that pesticides (like smoke from birthday candles) dissipates logarithmically… ten-times less for every yard traveled.

          • Thanks for clearing that up. I’m not baffled, I just want the facts so that I can cite them myself. Is there a publication for reference.

          • There are many citations. Just Google “pesticide drift logarithmic.” But the articles are mostly locked, requiring a subscription, and in any case are impossible for the average person to understand.

            That’s why I always use the birthday-cake analogy. The small amount of smoke that reaches the person at the opposite end of the table compared to much larger amount that rises up and hits the ceiling, is usually enough to get the point across.

          • But the bottom line is that people are paying 3x as much for what they believe to be pesticide-free, when in fact there were significant levels found. People aren’t paying for the farmer’s best effort, they’re paying for food without pesticide residue. If the farmers aren’t able to deliver on that promise, then pricing should reflect reality not intent, and the public should be educated about that reality.

          • 3x as much??? Where the hell are you buying your organics? With the exception of grapes, I generally pay an average of 10 to 20 cents more per pound for organics. Often even less, depending on season.

          • Poor Samsa. You need to stay away from Bt, even dusted on your beloved organic crops. Insect guts are different from human guts, and you are at risk. Very high risk. Stay in your room, Gregor. The world is not safe for you Out There.

          • Some of us are very interested in all the articles and research being shared and discussed here. Your childish sarcasm is disgraceful.

          • Lisa, you need to read the thread of posts back-and-forth with Shenandoah on this topic. The point that has been made over and over to him is the fact that BT acts entirely differently in the human gut then it does in the insect gut. The human got is not affected by Bt. I and others have repeatedly posted link after scholarly link on that topic, which Shanendoah has adamantly and repeatedly ignored, insisting that Bt “might” work the same in his own gut as it does on insects. (It doesn’t.). Apparently he really does need to convince himself for some reason that he too would be affected by Bt, even though his gut is different than an insect gut. Or is it? I finally asked myself: perhaps his gut, unlike that of any other human, is closer to that of an insect gut. I have finally capitulated and agree, that perhaps his gut, unlike anyone else’s, is indeed more similar to an insect gut, and thus he, like the famous character in Kafka’s wonderful story “Metamorphosis,” should stay far away from Bt. I stand by my sardonic literary reference.
            You yourself will find many interesting and scholarly articles on the way Bt is different for insects that it is for humans, if you look at any of the links that I and others have repeatedly sent him. That is the point.

          • thank you Ole for your information, this article unfairly bashes organic farmers. what is worse, the chemicals organic farmers use, or the pesticides conventional farmers use? give me a effin break all you biotech supporters. lets look at all the facts properly, and not bash your enemy to support your industry. seek the actual truth. this is a concept that is not being done anywhere in the world today. everyone is biased and supporting their employer rather than being honest with themselves and others. raising crops is a tough job, especially for organic farmers who for the most part are doing their best. yes there are liars and cheaters in the world who have gotten into organic ag, but lets not color every organic farmer as cheaters and liars.

        • I find it very strange that you make statements like this: “there is no field testing to prevent fraud.” and then, yourself, post links that proves you are wrong:

          “Starting in 2013, the USDA required five per cent of organic operations to undergo routine pesticide residue testing.”

          and farmers that violate the rules in the US have been given both fines and prison time:

          “In April 2012, Harold Chase of Springfield, Ore., was sent to prison for more than two years after he pleaded guilty to wire fraud for selling in excess of four million pounds of corn falsely labelled as organically grown.”

          Obviously you were not speaking about Canada in the first place, but if you had, you would have been partly right: “No such testing program exists in Canada, although the CFIA does test a certain amount of organic produce in its pesticide monitoring program for all foods.”

          and both the follow up, and the punishment for violations there, all in all seems less convincing, less mature, than in the US

          • There is no organic field testing in either the United States or Canada. There is only a tiny amount of end-product testing, which is as useless as testing Olympic athletes AFTER the Games instead of during.

            In the rare cases where someone is caught cheating, it is never because that person’s crops failed a pesticide residue test.

            If I am wrong, then someone from the USDA or CFIA should be able to show evidence that there is field testing. You know… like some test results.

            Instead, all we have are the USDA’s and CFIA’s pilot studies into organic end-product testing, and no field testing. None.

          • Again, you might be right, I might have been misled by the article you posted, which clearly states that

            “Starting in 2013, the USDA required five per cent of organic operations to undergo routine pesticide residue testing.”


            “No such testing program exists in Canada, ”


            Anyway, If you are right, I hope they will start testing fields soon. It seems to be in everyone`s interest.

          • Yes, organic testing
            field testing is long overdue soon. It’s in everyone`s interest, especially domestic organic farmers who’re being crushed by phony “organic” imports.

          • Look at tons applied, ubiquitous use, persistence times, toxicity, even more ubicuitous presense in the environment, and consider ecological effects–do you think only facts attested to in quality scientific studies count? That is scientific blindness.

          • You ask for the facts (tons applied, persistence times, etc.) but then question whether “only facts attested to in quality scientific studies count.”

            So which is it?

          • He likes the word ubiquitous. Science, consistency, evidence, and actual facts, not so much.

          • Facts are not limited to scientific studies. I love facts, and truth.

            I said look at those things. Look at the vast depoilation of the non-human world in North America since Euros came. To see this, you have to study, because it is not evident. But when one does study, it is entirely evident.

            That is to say, people in North America have been doing exactly the opposite of what it only makes sense to do–live in the biotic world in such a way that the fecundity of that biotic world is increased.

            In other words, humankind has been hugely misbehaving in North America–being a force of death more than life.

            Lots of people are entertaining themselves–and acting like ecological idiots.

            Some think they are scientifically literate. I think they are seriously
            good-spirit deprived.

          • Here are a couple of facts for environmentalists to keep in mind when it comes to our supposed “despoiling” of the environment. Draining swamps is a good thing, and there ain’t no food in a forest.

            You call it despoiling; I call it civilization. You should look into it sometime.

          • That incoherent and nonsequitor rambling sounds like you have been getting into the Bt. I told you to stay far away from it. It does not do well on insect guts, Gregor.

  3. Andrew, sorry to be ‘that guy’… check your spelling on your biological pesticide Genus and species (ex. bassiana…). Also it is important to indicate the difference between Bt as the bacteria, and the Bt toxin (Cry proteins) as expressed in plants. The GM plants do not create whole bacteria :)

    • Livestock vaccines are almost as entertaining.

      A NOSB-approved non-GM vaccine gets discontinued, and what do the organic faithful do? Continue production of the non-GM vaccine on their own dime? Oh, hell no, they revise their rules to allow the recombinant vaccine. Without press releases to trumpet the change, obvi.

      You’ve gotta wonder how much of the organic playbook came from the LDS/RLDS Mormon game plan where you just re-write history when it becomes a little inconvenient.

      • This ang person is apparently some stalker who has appointed him or herself the position of determining whose opinions are correct based solely on social media rankings of popularity.

        Of course, he or she wouldn’t apply that standard to his or herself; ang is a nobody, social-media wise.

  4. RE: In fact, Consumer Reports backtracked from its misleading headline in its article, nothing (noting? – literacy?) that it (huh?) natural pesticides–which are not necessarily safer than synthetic ones are often less targeted to protect beneficial insects–are common. It writes: “Federal law prohibits the use of almost all synthetic pesticides on organic farms.” It then stumbled again in its summary, writing, “There are currently no synthetic herbicides approved for use on organic food crops,” only to reverse itself, noting, “Only 10 synthetic insecticides are approved for use on organic farms.”

    No discrepancies here. Pesticides is a broad term including insecticides and herbicides (and fugicides). Different classes. 100% possible to have no synthetic herbicides approved, but 10 synthetic insecticides. Funny that this article is written at a “literacy” website. Do your research before criticizing others.

  5. Organic food has been a dismally bogus failure. Allegations by activists that organic pesticide-free food will someday replace conventional food are ludicrous. Even more ludicrous is the expectation that pest control products will someday and somehow no longer be necessary for agriculture. Any restriction on the use of pest control products would result in a substantial reduction in harvests and a related substantial increase in food costs, lack of affordable food, huge increases in starvation, and tens of thousands of additional deaths among the poor of the world. WILLIAM H GATHERCOLE AND NORAH G

  6. Rob Wallbridge is misleading readers when he suggests there are many different ways to define the safety of pesticides. There are only 2 ways: toxicity and the impact on non-target pests. Organic pesticides fail on both counts.

  7. direct quote :: The USDA National List of allowed pesticides for organic growers is quite long. The list includes some substances that one would assume would be relatively harmless, such as mulch, dairy cultures or vitamin B. But others on the list should raise eyebrows: Copper sulfate, elemental sulfur, borax and borates are all known to cause some harm to humans and are approved members of the organic list. Among “synthetic” pesticides, pyrethrums are still allowed, and Vitamin C that is chemically derived (and therefore synthetic) is allowed, as are various forms of alcohol.
    AND CAN HAVE ANY AMOUNT OF GMO CONTAMINATION, as long as the organic farmer, didnt plant it. WITH THESE RIDICULOUS RULES, the author, et al, do your seriously think, anyone in the world, including USA, can seriously consider your labelling for Organic to be genuine and correct? You admit yourself, Organic is full of pesticides in USA, and GMOs. The rest of the world, does not take USA labelling seriously, as you are obviously manipulators, and blatant liars. Enjoy your own crops.. The rest of the world wont buy it… Cheers! The author of this article, has yet again convinced me, not to touch food produced in USA> as Organic, is ANYTHING BUT ORGANIC, THE AUTHOR ADMITS THIS CLEARLY.

  8. You seem to be missing the point and are going off topic. This article is a response to the claims that organic farms don’t use pesticides. They clearly do, and those pesticides come with a whole host of potential dangers.

  9. Bt does not affect the human gut, which is very different from an insect’s gut.
    It is not a “bug.”
    You seem surprised that organic farmers use this.

  10. Agriculture without insecticides and fungicides would produce a small fraction of what is currently grown. And only a fraction of the current population could be supported by such agriculture. Maybe that is the goal for some?

    • Temp, do you mean population control (genocide through starvation) by crop inadequacy? Yup, sounds about right, and I can bet that some of the bloggers here would think that was perfectly sound reasoning.
      Good point.

  11. GMO plants are designed to require applications of Monsanto’s key product – pesticides – particularly neonicotinoids (culpable in bee colony collapse) and glyphosate.

    The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently found that three pesticides were “probably” carcinogenic and two others, which have already been outlawed or restricted, were “possibly” so.

    IARC classified the herbicide glyphosate – the active ingredient in Roundup – and the insecticides malathion and diazinon as “probably carcinogenic” on the basis of “limited evidence” of cancer among humans.…/un-cancer-agency-issues…

    • Hate to pop your hate bubble but Monsanto does not make neonicotinoids (which are not linked to colony collapse) and which are not linked to GMOS. Glyphosate is a generic chemical, which is also made by Monsanto yes. And yes, one agency which studies hazards placed glyphosate in the same hazard category as coffee and excessive sunshine, frying foods and alcohol–it can cause cancer if it’s “used” improperly. The hazard evaluation focused on multiple exposures to workers over lifetime exposure at unrealistic levels and not to casual exposure to micro trace values in food. Glyphosate is perfectly are as used, and it’s been cleared as so by the World Health Organization’s risk evaluation program (which is the regulatory recommendation group and distinct from a hazard evaluation which does not measure real world usage). Better if you stick to science rather than scare information, and good to get your facts straight before posting misinformation.

  12. OK you people who think having many plants produce Bt internally (because of Genetic Engineering) is no problem, dig this–insects will shortly develop resistance to Bt. Guaranteed. How about, for a big change, looking ahead at the problems that will develop, and stop thinking that you can make any genetic change you want to, thus personally profiting. You are acting like selfish small-minded beings.

    • I understand your terrified, primal fear of Bt, Samsa. All of your type are, and should be, very afraid of Bt, which affects an insect gut very differently than a human gut.

      • And tell me, just what are you going to do when insects become resistant to Bt, which they surely will soon? Start putting some more toxic chemical right in our food? Of course you will. You are making big changes to a complex system you do not understand much at all, and doing that in a personal-profit seeking short-sighted way–and you think your moves are an advance, so-called scientifically informed! What baloney. You’ll are a bunch of selfish charlatans who are so far from well-moved that I’m sure that you don’t even know what that is. Try to be helpful, would you–for a change?

        • Ah, you’ve stopped the dorp goop dweeb baby talk for a minute. Before you start clacking your carapace and waiving your antenna in a loud hiss, you need to remember that insect refuges for Bt crops have been in existence for, like, forever. Don’t know what that is, Gregor? Read up:

          And, yawn, insect resistance is not a GE issue. It is an, um, insect issue with whatever insecticide you (mis)use, including Bt on your beloved organic crops. Duhhhhh. You keep ignoring that and waiving your little feet around in the air in terror. Don’t chomp on any Bt crop, Gregor. Very bad for you. Very bad for your gut.
          Here yet again, probably the 3rd or 5th time, is a list of scholarly articles on how the insect gut is different from the human gut. Please don’t be so damn lazy. Read up instead of hissing:

          But my advice for you, unlike normal humans who don’t have insect guts, is for you to even stay out of the refuge, Mr. Samsa. Bt is very, very dangerous to you, poor thing. Including in organic fields. We humans have human guts so it is not a problem for us. But it is for you. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Now scuttle off and hide under the bureau before the maid hits you again with her broom.

          • You manage some worthwhile points–but they are run through with your idiotic put-down crap. If sometime you leave that off, I may respond to you. Or just go swim in your own juice. Crap throwing maybe fits you best.

          • Thank you. Yes, they are worthwhile points. They are based on science. Read up.
            Oooops, you just DID respond to me, so you must like my posts.
            Stay away from Bt, Gregor. It will hurt you. You need to stay very afraid of it — it affects human guts differently than insects. I will keep repeating that until you get over being lazy and read the science on Bt. Now scuttle away, Mr. Samsa. Go hiss somewhere else.

          • You childish person, trying to sound real tough. It’s stupid. Big money talks–“We got everything under control.” Meanwhile, the rich “owners” of fossil fuels are about to condemn us to catastrophy–they are making a “killing.” Go ahead, blow it off. NEWS ALERT–insects are becoming resistant to Bt.. That’s no problem, right? You will just engineer a new, more toxic in plant poison. The ignorance of ecology and human quality of the people at Monsanto, which has been richly and amply demonstrated, makes Genetic Engineering in there hands a slide to disaster. I don’t know your connection to them, but you are helping bring us down.

          • If you want to hear Big Money Talk, Mr. Samsa, look up the lies from the $70 billion organic industry.
            If you loathe money, give it away.
            If you have any info about “insects becoming more resistant to Bt,” post it. That’s what refuges are for.
            If you want my wisdom in the future, you need to read the links I have posted to you numerous times about Bt in the human gut and insect gut, and Bt insect resistance. Are you too lazy to read the references I carefully selected for you? Your beetle eyes can still read, right?
            Meanwhile, Gregor, scuttle back under the bureau, and keep your insect gut far, far away from Bt, organic and otherwise. Take your hissing elsewhere. [You really have no clue what I’m referring to here, do you? Did you sleep during World Lit 101 as well as Science 101? Pathetic.]

          • May merit a response!!! From you!!! Oh, I simply cannot wait!!!!! You have made my day!!!!
            Take your hissing elsewhere, Gregor.

        • I know, right? Ugh, for you to have to acknowledge that you finally know that insects and not humans are affected by Bt? Pretty much throws out your arguments about Bt. Oh, except for insects. Poor Gregor Samsa. No more organic Bt sandwiches. Ugh is right. Now scuttle along back into the dark, as the light of science has been switched on in your little room.
          And Gregor, stay far, far away from organic Bt as well as all other Bt. We want you to stay healthy. [You still have absolutely no idea what I am referring to, right? How sad. Look it up. I have given you enough literary clues to choke a horse.]

    • The tenacious clinging to an absurd fear, and the insistent caterwauling of the precautionary principle are clear symptoms of a tiny selfish mind…a narrow agenda driven mind clouded by hubris. Dismissing your blatant fanaticism is the kindest thing we can do.

  13. That any person or group would even consider making changes in the genes of farmed organisms without having an advanced understanding of agroecology is the height of thoughtlessness and arrogance. However, I have not run across one go-go-GMOer who has evidenced any appreciation of Agroecology–and several people have dismissed it.

    Is there any question why careful people raise deadly serious questions of the go-go-GMOers?

    Because go-go-GMOers are ignorant of nature, uninclined to learn more, and are laying their grubbig fingers on the family jewels.

    • Then you shouldn’t eat organic food either. Genes randomly scrambled in those organic foods produced through irradiation and chemicals (mutagenesis) with no testing, oversight, monitoring.
      Your illogical conclusions about GE foods, the most tested foods in the world, are, as you say, “…..the height of thoughtlessness and arrogance.”

  14. Hello,
    I am a certified organic farmer in Kentucky, USA. Interesting article, but many mistakes and common misconceptions. 1) Organic farmers are NOT allowed to use conventionally-produced chemically-treated strawberry plants and claim the strawberries are organic. I was personally told this on week ago by the head of the Organic Certification program in Kentucky, Adam Watson. So, sorry but your information in incorrect on that one. Second, it’s a very inappropriate argument I hear often, that “organic farmers use pesticides too!”. There is a huge gulf of difference between organically-approved sprays and chemical, conventional sprays. It would be like arguing that people that take do not take pharmaceutical drugs but that consume herbal supplements for health reasons “pop pills, too”. The main reasons are that conventional sprays are chemically derived, extremely toxic to most life forms on earth, persist in the environment, water ways and the fat cells of everything from polar bears to your mother’s breasts and are manufactured in factories that cause a lot of pollution.

    Organic sprays in general are much, much less toxic, are usually naturally derived and not made of synthetic compounds, break down extremely fast in the environment, and are generally non-polluting. Do they sometimes kill non-target insects? Of course. Although not perfect, they can cause harm in some situations, or if used inappropriately or excessively, but in general organic products are much, much safer on people, the farmers, the local ecosystems they are used in, and the final customer eating the produce.

    Organic farming is not a perfect science and is not a perfect system. Organic farmers absolutely have to have some “tools in the toolbox” they can access in order to grow excellent-quality produce, especially in the modern-day marketplace where the smallest blemish or spot will render a product virtually worthless. The organic certification standards are in place to decide on what’s available in that toolbox, and I think they have done an amazing job with that.

    So, we as farmers have to have some tools to use. Those tools are not perfect. But, if they are 95% less harmful and less toxic, then that is a HUGE amount of progress and should be supported and not argued against and nitpicked in articles like this. Just because organic farming is not 100% perfect does not mean it is not a huge step forward in creating sustainable food systems for the future of mankind.

    Blake Cothron
    Peaceful Heritage Nursery and Farm

    • Well, Blake, you deftly lay down the standard organic sales pitch but it looks like you have some ‘splainin’ to do…

      The one and only time USDA tested organic produce for pesticide residues they found over 43% had traces of pesticide. Over 4% of organic produce had illegal pesticide levels. A couple years later Canada spot checked their organic produce and found virtually the same thing; over 45% of organic produced had detectable pesticide residues.

      What this means is if my spouse buys 3 different organic foods for our grandkids, it is a safe bet one of the 3 organic foods will contain pesticide. It’s a pretty good chance a second of the 3 organic foods will have pesticide in it, too.

      So, Blake, if you’re not doping your produce with pesticides then other organic farmers are.

      All I know is “certified organic” means a marketing ploy is at play…and that tells me nothing, absolutely nothing about quality or safety of the food product. Unless I place great value on conspicuous consumption, that is being seen buying and serving overpriced snob food, there is no rational excuse for me to permit my wife to buy certified organic anything. Moreover, I forbid certified organic crap in my home because of the negative marketing your cult has consistently embarked upon to smear my farm, my farm family and me personally.

      Listen, Blake, don’t bother responding to my comment here. It will only get ugly, son.

      • My brother does some organic farming (less than 10% of his operation). When he first got into it several years ago he said the inside joke was “the best organic farming is done at night”.

        Now my brother is an honest fellow and by all accounts appears to be committed to following the organic rules – which are quite stringent and the repercussions costly if you get caught doing otherwise. He’s also a good businessman and to my understanding grows organic for the premium price, not the ideology.

        • Yeah, we still work a little of our ground sort of old fashioned and without much in the way of purchased inputs — not certified organic, but with techniques they would certainly recognize, so we’re familiar with the exercise. The two organic farmers in our neighborhood I’ve become acquainted with really seem to be committed, as you say. They have convinced themselves they possess a measure of moral superiority, somehow. It’s like a sense of entitlement,or something, like it’s fine for them to bend the rules, like it’s owed to them somehow. Transplanted urban folks, so, pretty typical, I guess.

          I know they carp about our “BigAg” “factory” farm behind our backs, but one has occasionally stopped around to borrow some heavy hand tools, once a bush hog. The other did some driving for us during harvest to earn some cash when he most needed it. What I can tell you from experience is a tool set once came back less a couple of 3/4 drive sockets that were “lost, sorry” and never offered to be replaced. The bush hog reappeared on the apron of our farm shop one morning, dropped off in the night rather the worse for wear and never even a “thank you, sorry for the bent flail”.

          We feel like we have to be polite and lend ’em stuff, what are you gonna do? We work ground all around them and run our trucks and equipment by their places all season. Neighbor relations aren’t always easy, but there is a smugness about these folks that portends real trouble out of ’em someday if they manage to stay in business. With some of the ugly undercover gotcha videos that pop up I’m reluctant to have those organic folks or any of their friends anywhere on our place. We have nothing to hide but why invite trouble?

          • That’s interesting. Apparently eating organic can have a psychological effect so it may be that organic farming does something similar.

            It may even be that driving a Prius will have a similar effect – to the point where it was rumored Toyota had planned to harness the self-righteousness as an energy source

          • Great Psychology Today study on the moral superiority and increased anti-social behavior among organic advocates! I, and others, have unfortunately seen this evangelical selfishness and self-aggrandizing sense of superiority all too often. Ugh.
            And as these organic guys till their soil (ugh), cutting in half productive worms and other species below the surface of the soil in the process (ugh), they put down their latte for a second to pat themselves on the back, thinking that their dirty hands make them superior. They even flaunt their dirty fingernails when they go to Whole Foods (ugh); “Oh, yeah, I was just working in my ORGANIC garden this morning, and thought I’d run out for some ORGANIC coffee and pick up a Yoga magazine, heh heh.”

          • Heh, heh, the Toyota “Pious”, hysterical, I love it!

            Must admit the “smug” works both ways. I don’t recommend this (a terrible abuse of a diesel engine) but it did make me chuckle…

          • Yeah, I was driving through rural Indiana several months ago and got behind one of those who apparently felt my Subaru Forrester deserved a dose of his smoke (not nearly as much as in the video thankfully). Maybe if he knew it was a former farm kid from California behind him he might have held off – but my best guess is he hadn’t bagged a Prius for a while so was craving the emotional rush.

      • Well Mr. Farmer, there’s no need for things to get ugly. Organic farming is not a cult. 150 years ago or so, everything grown on God’s green earth was organic and organically grown, more or less.

        What I’m explaining to the audience here is that there is a huge amount of difference between most “organic” pesticides and most “conventional” pesticides, in terms of human-environment toxicity and break-down time.

        Let’s examine one: Neem extract. It may be true that some organic produce has residues of “pesticides” on it. But, like sited in the above article, one test result showed Neem residue. Neem comes from a seed from a tree, Azadirachta indica. The seeds have many extremely useful properties, one of which is the reduction of insect and fungus pressure on cultivated crops. However, it is such a SAFE product, it’s used in TOOTHPASTE and other products to be used on the human body, including internally. (Yes, fluoride is too, but that’s a natural product as well).

        So, to say that organic produce sometimes contains pesticide residues is a mute argument and a deceptive tag line. Yes, it may contain residues of different substances used to kill or deter pest species. But, those products are not as toxic or as dangerous as most conventional items. It’s not a perfect science.

        But, organic producers have to have tools in the toolbox to use, and organic products, while not perfect and faultless and non-impactful are a progressive step in the very right direction.

        And, as organic products and science evolves, it will only get better and more advanced and less harmful. Unlike chemical farming, which continues to grow in pesticide and chemical use, and create loads of problems like pesticide-resistant superweeds and insects.

        If some organic farmers use prohibited, toxic substances, then shame on them for being liars.

        I have nothing against conventional farmers, nor am I some stupid hippy. My wife’s father is a conventional corn farmer and I have no problem with that. However, I know for certain that for me personally, I could not and will never use chemical products and pesticides on my farm. Those products are harmful, toxic to everything they touch and there is no way in hell I would apply them or have my family in reach of them. Remember how cool the pesticide DDT was? How everyone said is was so safe you could drink it? Now it’s a banned product because it was so dangerous and harmful. “DDT is good for me!” Was the tagline.

        There’s a local amish farm (the Shrock’s) in our area who is transitioning to organic because their 16 year old son developed cancer from applying tomato pesticides. Now they use organic pesticides and he is cancer-free.

        This is not a cult, and calling it that shows you’re threatened. There’s nothing to be pissed off about, and if some people diss you for farming conventionally, that’s their problem. Just like you dissing me for farming organically is your issue, not mine.

        The bottom line is that bunching any product that kills or deters insects under the title “pesticide” without analyzing what those individual substances are, and then trying to blacklist organic farming because “they use pesticides too” is deceptive.

        • Big pantsload of double speak, there, Blakie. Amateurish revisionist history and a truly pathetic nitpicking at parsing pesticides in keeping with your own moral absolutism. All first world elitist horseshit, laid on in a random patchwork of propaganda so characteristic of pro-organic hucksters.

          Your imaginative revisionist history of organic farming going back 150 years is a complete fabrication. The term “organic farming” and the overblown charade as we know it today was birthed after 1900. It bumbled along as a hypothetical idea and was confined to gardening until about 1970, during which time it was being successfully hawked for profit by J.I. Rodale, who enriched himself as a publisher of books and magazines espousing miraculous health and gardening myths. Rodale famously dropped dead while taping an appearance on the Dick Cavet Show, almost immediately after theatrically proclaiming his flawless health and asserting he would live to be 100. The greedy old huckster was nowhere near a centenarian at his sudden death from coronary disease.

          The real birthing of commercial organic farming came in 2000 when our USDA foolishly established its “certified organic” marketing label. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman made clear at the time that “organic” was no healthier or safer, it was and is merely a marketing niche, an elitist boutique marketing program. A hodgepodge of capricious “rules” were strung together in the NOP and the National List began picking arbitrary winners and losers among allowable inputs. No provision was made for meaningful inspection and enforcement, a rudimentary good ol’ boy crony system was set up to make a show of paid certification. Unfortunately Glickman failed to establish any guidelines for ethical advertising, thus unleashing the dishonest, hateful, scamming marketing tactics engaged in by organic producers to this day. That, in a nutshell, is “certified organic” agriculture in the U.S. today.

          By 2011 USDA’s survey of organic produce identified 30 different pesticide residues, the findings absolutely not confined to certified organic pesticides. Organic hucksters routinely proselytize, convincing naive grocery shoppers that organic food is “pesticide free”. It is not, and when that lie is exposed organic sycophants, like yourself, suddenly change their tune and begin spinning the silly myth that organic pesticides are “less toxic” — a complete and utter load of disingenuous crap. That, in a nutshell, is “certified organic” agriculture today.

          Let’s hold our nose and examine your puerile testimonial for neem oil. You launch into a choreographed con job to try to convince us neem oil is not toxic – it’s practically a health food, according to you. That’s horseshit – neem is toxic. And that typical deception, in a nutshell, is “certified organic” agriculture today.

          Also true to form for an organic ripoff artist, you do not catalogue the effective uses of neem oil. You only hint that it is virtually a magic potion wherever and for whatever it is used and abused. In truth and in fact neem oil is not terribly effective for much of anything, and it is not recommended by EPA for topical application – neem is basically a botanical quack nostrum. And that is “organic agriculture” today.

          As a dedicated organic huckster you simply couldn’t resist trotting out the abridged revisionist history of DDT, suggesting it is far more toxic than it actually is and implying DDT represents an ongoing malicious and irresponsible use of agriculture chemicals by “conventional farmers” like me and your father in law. You hurl an unfounded charge that modern agriculture is using more and more pesticide, more and more toxic pesticide. That, of course is untrue — it is a deliberate lie. Precisely what we’ve come to expect from the organic industry today.

          In truth and in fact, the risk of toxicity of DDT can be responsibly counterbalanced by the benefits, even today. This is particularly the case in less developed countries with unique endemic diseases. Of course, organic agriculture is predicated upon an undertone of moral superiority and relies entirely upon affluent first world economies for its success. Little wonder organic proponents are steadfastly dismissive of developing nations and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, which happen to represent the majority of humanity on earth. Because that attitude, in a nutshell, is characteristic of the organic industry today.

          And finally, for good measure you simply had to toss in the spurious testimonial of the Amish kid rumored to have caught cancer from tomato spray. A typical FearBabe move. Just another day of scare mongering in the finest spirit of organic snake oil selling, eh?

          So there we have your “organic” phenomenon, in a nutshell. It is a cult. It is a marketing scam. It is elitist. It is a hateful marketing ploy. It is rife with quackery. It is xenophobic and inhumane. It is a silly fad. It is not sustainable.

          You mention your father in law, Blake, with one breath saying you’re OK with his farming and with the next breath vow you will never poison the earth and the sky the way he routinely does. That is a troubling attitude for you to take, considering he probably donates a great deal of resources and expertise to keep his daughter and you economically afloat from one weedbound bug-eaten season to the next in your little Garden of Eden. If the organic farming dream you espouse was worth a shit, by now after 40 years of fucking around it sure as hell ought to amount to more than 2% of our American farmland and 4% of America’s food consumption. So certainly I do not feel “threatened”, as you spin it. I feel betrayed and angered by your cult’s hate speech and nauseated by your unfounded sense of entitlement and affectation of moral superiority. And that is “organic agriculture” as it stands today in the U.S.A.

          • Wow, I’m really sorry people have hurt your feelings so much in the past. You must be very sensitive.

            I tried to be civil and respectful and say that we are all free to farm as we see fit and instead you choose to vent your misdirected anger and cuss out someone you’ve never even met, who was being respectful to you. Shameful.

            The people on this forum are so rude and hateful.

            Science increases knowledge but makes the heart hard and cold.

            I’m unashamed of what I do and in the end organic farming will continue to prosper, no matter how much you hate that fact, as it’s growth in the marketplace goes up exponentially with each passing year, billions and billions in increase. Sorry, you can argue numbers but numbers don’t lie. You can hate and hate and cuss and cuss and throw a temper tantrum, but that’s your problem and bad heart condition.

            One day you’ll fall over dead just like Rodale. Don’t waste your life with hatred and anger.

        • However, it is such a SAFE product, it’s used in TOOTHPASTE and other products to be used on the human body, including internally.”

          No it is not safe and it is banned as a conventional and Organic pesticide in Europe. Even the neem oil association says “Only use externally”, man you people are stupid.

    • “There is a huge gulf of difference between organically-approved sprays and chemical, conventional sprays. It would be like arguing that people that take do not take pharmaceutical drugs but that consume herbal supplements for health reasons “pop pills, too””

      It’s interesting to see herbal supplements and ‘organically-approved spays’ placed in a similar category. Are you aware of the issues with those ‘natural’ supplements?

      “A string of high-profile cases linking certain products to serious health issues — some even leading to liver problems and deaths — has raised questions about how well the industry is regulated.

      Unlike prescription drugs that have to go through rounds of rigorous testing and clinical trials before they reach your pharmacy, the current system leaves it up to the manufacturers of supplements to make sure they adhere to guidelines established by the Food and Drug Administration.”

      Because they are deemed ‘natural’ those ‘organically-approved sprays’ receive less scrutiny than synthetic pesticides. Do we really know they are safer – particularly when more applications and higher concentrations often need to be used because they are less effective against target pests?

    • Organic agriculture uses pesticides that can be as toxic as conventional, and more so than GE. Look up all the organic-approved pesticides by googling “USDA approved organic pesticides.”
      Organic has been shown repeatedly to use more water, more fuel and air pollution per acre, more tillage, and less yield per acre. Not environmentally friendly.
      You have been given links on all of these facts over and over again. Do you just choose not to read them? Do you not understand them, just as you do not understand the link that you sent?

      As my mother used to say, “None are so blind as those that will not see.”

  15. When shit hits the fan and crops start to fail and there is massive starvation, hippies aren’t gonna be whining about GMOs I can tell you that. Humans started using GMOs and pesticides for a reason., DOn’t you people remember when swarms of locusts would come and destroy entire fields. Of course you don’t, because were not fcuking cave men anymore.

      • I never said it doesn’t happen now. It does happen, although at a much less frequency, and is less devastating, and entire populations don’t starve to death because of it.

        • First, cavemen didn’t eat crops. Duh. They were hunter-gatherers.

          Second, there are no GM crops designed to resist locusts so even if they consume fewer crops that has nothing to do with GMOs.

          The reason entire populations don’t starve is because… you know… transport technology.

          • “Cave men were the first farmers, and anthropology professor Kent Flannery will give insights into their ingenuity at his upcoming Henry Russel Lecture, titled “The Creation of Agriculture: So Easy a Caveman Could Do It.”

            “The first plant and animal domestication was carried out 10,000 years ago, in the Stone Age,” by people who were, in fact, cave men and women, says Flannery, the James B. Griffin Distinguished University Professor of Anthropological Archaeology.

            Flannery, who also is curator of environmental archaeology in the Museum of Anthropology, has excavated sites of early agriculture in Iran, Mexico and Peru. In a cave in southern Mexico in the 1960s, he uncovered the oldest corn, beans, squash and gourds ever found. In the ’70s, he investigated the origins of llama and alpaca domestication in the high Andes of Peru.”

            Literally all you had to do was google caveman and farming. I guess fact checking isn’t your strong suit.

          • “Caveman” is a euphemism for Paleolithic man and it is the birth of agriculture that marks the end of the Paleolithic. Good on you for utilizing Google to find the exception… though the irony in a guy chastising others for not using Google after failing to use Google to confirm his rubbish claims about locusts and GMOs is too rich to not savor for a good, long moment.

            Maybe no one noticed that you fabricated that idea. Twice. And they are instead focused on your caveman red herring.

            “Caveman is a stock character based upon widespread but anachronistic and conflated concepts of the way in which neanderthals, early modern humans, or archaic hominins may have looked and behaved. The term originates out of assumptions about the association between early humans and caves, most clearly demonstrated in cave painting. The term is not used in academic research.

          • Anything you gather is a crop whether or not you planted it. Wild berries, for example, are crops. So, unless you’re trying to say that “cavemen” didn’t eat any kids of fruits or vegetables or roots, they ate crops.

  16. One of the biggest problems I am seeing with the iphone and google experts on this forum is a lack of actual experience in what they surmise themselves well educated in. Seriously, how many of you have ever stepped foot on a working farm? How many have spent a day on an organic farm? How many organic farmers do you know? How many produce auctions have you been too? How many non-organic farmers do you converse with on a regular basis? How many gardens have you grown? How many of you have studied, in depth, organic agriculture?
    What would be best would be to actually get off the computer (gasp!) and go travel to the nearest farms. Spend a day talking and visiting some conventional farms. Spend a day talking and visiting some organic farms. Ask them how they deal with issues like insects and weeds. As them how and where they sell their products.

    • Try your hand at actually growing some food in your yard and see what it takes.

      Then, you can come up with an educated response and have valid, meaningful opinions instead of ranting and raving, cussing people out and making rude comments and making yourself look like a hateful fool in front of everyone.

      • So, what are you figuring to plant in your yard Blakie? I’d recommend you try onions, peas and some taters – they’re about the easiest things for a beginner to succeed with. Gotta warn you, though, those potato bugs will cause you cuss and make rude comments when you see ’em chewing and crawling all over your Yukon Golds. Have to say the Dutchess has always kept a garden in the sideyard every summer to supply the kitchen and she cusses me out about every 10 days, or so. Year round. Always has. Maybe she’s not growing the right stuff in the garden to calm her?

    • Sonny boy, the agricultural professionals that frequent this site have forgotten more about practical farming than all the urban myths you think you know. I warned you this would turn ugly, boy. You think it’s hard when your myths are debunked? What will you do about it — educate yourself in the science and open your mind to improving your practical farming skills, or stomp and fuss and shove your head back up the organic echo chamber? Will you collude with your organic industry operatives to whip up another hateful slanderous attack upon successful modern agriculture?

      You and your libelous colleagues shouldn’t have to badmouth your competition, or at least you wouldn’t have to if your service and your product could stand on its own merits. Hell, if you could occupy your effete little boutique market space without poisoning the well for the rest of us there would be no issue between us. But that bus has left the station, youngster, and you chose to be aboard it. Don’t be so thin skinned when the attention you’ve sought for yourself isn’t all flattering. And you’re right about one thing; scientists and professional farmers are factual and practical with no time for silly heartthrob agroquackery. We have to be, and if that makes us hard as nails we gladly accept that as a compliment. Maybe one day you’ll grow up and smell the coffee, like Michael Shermer, Bill Nye and Mark Lynas.

    • I’ve worked with both organic and conventional farms for two decades now. They control their pests in much the same way conventional farmers do. They just use organically approved pesticides rather than synthetic.

      The exception being that tillage is the primary control method for early weeds in a organic system.

    • Doubling down on the scare mongering, eh?

      If you’re going to become an organic industry troll, Blakie, you ought at least link to credible authorities and primary sources. Here’s how you do that:

      Read and improve your mind. Here you will find that out of some 1500 substances IARC has reviewed, only one (1) of those, caprolactam, has been classified as not carcinogenic. Obviously IARC strives to find fault with virtually every substance it passes its disapproving gaze upon.

      And what other dreadful possible carcinogens does IARC classify “2A” along with glyphosate?

      Nitrate or nitrate, as in the bacon you have every morning for breakfast

      Red meat

      Shift work that causes circadian disruption

      Very hot beverages >65 deg C

      Anabolic steroids

      Art glass manufacture

      Emissions from household burning of biomass fuel (wood)

      Bitumen, exposure during roofing


      Emissions from high temperature frying

      Hairdresser exposure to hair coloring


      Pretty scary lineup, huh? Even the caffeine in your coffee and soft drinks is rated more highly carcinogenic than IARC.

      You really are a weenie, Blake. There’s just no polite way to acknowledge it. So you’ve come here and shown us your ass. What now?

    • Whoa…WTF…we’ve been made to believe organic uses NO pesticides. What a gyp! Why does organic use ANY pesticide if it is toxic? It is just wrong for organic farmers to use pesticide when we believe they should use none.

      • Anyone who knows anything about U.S.D.A. certified organic, or who looks a little into it, knows it uses some pesticide. If people studied plenty, and developed complex agroecosystems, harmful pesticide use could be totally eliminated–but that will take some time–and much work from dedicated people.

        • Why doesn’t it say so on the label? We have a right to know if pesticide is used on organic food! Just label it. Why do organic food producers hide this from consumers?

          • Conventional foods do not have the coveted “certified organic” label, which we have been led to believe is pesticide-free. That is why we pay so much extra money for organic because we want pesticide-free food for our children. Now that we learn organic farmers use pesticide they should have to say so on the organic label. Stop hiding their pesticide use and print a warning on the label so consumers can know what they are putting in their childrens’ bodies. Just label it. What are organic farmers hiding that they are ashamed to tell consumers about the pesticide they use?

          • Your faking it. It’s widely known USDA Organic contains some pesticides–LESS. Heck, plenty of people do not know that pesticides are used on conventional crops–MORE. If you’re going to label pesticide use, label conventionally grown food first. Just label it.

          • This would be possible–you do realize this would be much more difficult and expensive than labelling GMO’s. If the amounts of contamination by broadly toxic chemicals was listed on all food sold, this would be a HUGE boon to organic agriculture! People do not really want toxic chemicals on their food–which conventional agriculture serves up, big time, all the time!

          • No, not faking anything. Organic food is widely known to be pesticide free. Here’s advice and reassurance from Stonyfield of the health benefits of organic food and it’s mostly because it is pesticide-free:


            Stonyfield CEO Gary Hirshberg campaigns at the national level for informative food labeling nationwide. Certainly organic foods should be labeled if pesticides are used. We have a right to know. Just label it!

          • Holy crap, that is the funniest thing I have read ever….

            “Foods being grown in their natural environment” Comedy gold…

          • Yeah. The other thing that caught my eye is how Stonyfield has purchased a harem of paid mommy bloggers. These women are paid to write about products. A few of them are OK about disclosing they are hired, most are not.

          • Yep so true. Many organic companies do the same. It is shameful.

            Anyway, wouldn’t the natural environment for RR1027 dent corn be in a farmers field, and it would it not naturally want to be sprayed with glyphosate.
            Just like if there was a seal that was resistant to orcas, it would want to be in an area with orcas (less sharks)

          • Faking. You are concerned about labeling of pesticides–right. Then label which pesticides and how much is on conventionally grown food–MUCH MORE!

          • Your lame attempt at diverting concern perfectly illustrates the evil of the organic industry. Conventional foods have always been understood to be produced with the latest technology, including closely controlled scientific application of carefully researched and tested agricultural chemicals. Indeed, that is precisely what the organic industry wass established to eliminate. Instead they secretly employed the use of a different set of chemicals, most more primitive and some more toxic than many of those used in conventional agriculture. It isn’t a case of more or less. It isn’t a case of “much more”. It is a case of organic continuing and expanding the use of chemicals that are deadly toxic to our biosphere, and then lying to us about what they use and how they use it. All that secrecy is evil. They must be forced to explain their use of these dreadful pesticides on their food labels so consumers will, for the first time, finally be made away of the poisons they consume with every bite of supposedly pure, healthy organic food.

          • Pure baloney! You just do not understand that many of the chemicals conventional agriculture has begun using since W.W.II because they seemed convenient are in fact poisons that have many negative side-effects, and therefore those chemicals should not be used. It is regretable you’re not aware of this–it’s a grievious oversight. Carefully researched and tested–the height of ignorance! See–The Myth of Safe Pesticides, by Andre Leu. You can throw slop at organic agriculture till the cows come home–I am sure you throw lots of ugly chemicals at your dell, also.

          • Heh, wrong again! Organic pesticides are the real threat here. They are primitive and terribly toxic in a ham-fisted fashion. They are not only misunderstood by organic farmers, they are kept hidden from organic consumers who ingest them without knowing the threat to their well being or to that of the environment. The whole organic charade is one large dishonest dangerous money grabbing scam. Modern conventional agriculture stands in stark contrast — we know our chemicals, we know precisely how to apply them sparingly and safely, we are aware of any possible impacts and we carefully guard against those. Secretive organic pesticide users cannot achieve any of these precautions because to do so would require them to acknowledge their use of pesticides and that, they fear, may reduce profits. Bring at least one nasty truth of organics out into the light – label organic foods with pesticide warnings. Do it for families, do it for innocent children, do it for the environment.

          • If All pesticide use or residue was labelled, organic agriculture would receive a great boon–because do not want to eat the not-fully tested poisons that conventional agriculture puts on our food!

          • Hey, where did you go shenendoah?

            OMG! Now that I find out organic food has pesticide I did some googling and GUESS WHAT —

            organic farmers are

            ^^^^ KILLING HONEYBEES ^^^^

            with their pesticides!!!!


            Oh no, all this business of organic farmers abusing toxic pesticides is a terrible shock. So very disappointing. Organic foods absolutely MUST be labeled if they pesticide is used. I HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW!! JUST LABEL IT!11

          • You are faking it. The misuse of chemicals, for agriculture, industry, and in other ways is a huge problem many people are oblivious to. U.S.D.A. organic is only a step in the right direction. If we do not move in the right direction, we’re unnecessarily hugely hurting the biosphere–of which we all are a part. By poisoning the biosphere, we are degrading life on Earth, including human life. Give a damn!

          • Organic agriculture is a “step in the right direction” only if the “right direction” is a step back in time and a step back into the shadows of deceit and concealment. Organic agriculture routinely lies to us about the quality and safety of their products and hides from us their use of hideously dangerous chemical pesticides — organic pesticides that we must especially fear because they are organic and that may cause them to more easily infiltrate and slowly poison and destroy our biosphere — there are no long term safety studies of pesticide slathered organic food so we just don’t know how much havoc these organic chemicals have wreaked. The precautionary principle demands that because of all the unknowns involved in organic food production we must be that much more wary of the false claims and intent of the evil organic farmers and the more evil Organic Consumers Fund! Pesticide use MUST be labeled on foods the evil organic industry is palming off o us. You, of all people, should give a damn!

          • I would suggest that you study some agricultural ecology, and about organic agriculture–so that your writing reflects reality to some meaningful degree.

          • Agroecology is a complete scam. It has absolutely nothing to contribute to real commercial agriculture in real time. It is no more relevant than the mutterings of a doddering delusional old woman carrying on a dramatic fictional conversation with herself.

            Agroecology: Who Needs Science When We Have Storytelling?

          • Brilliant? Yea, forget science. Understanding–who needs it? So what’s a little poisin? It’s just the real world you are deeply injuring–killing.

          • When you start to apply your mind and your self to doing some worthwhile intellectual work, it will be most welcome. That would require some thought, which you are quite capable of.

          • That is not what is going on–obviously. They are people who apparently have little understanging of toxicology or ecology–conventional growers. Organic agriculture is an attemp to ameliorate the problems this causes.

          • That’s what makes those organic food producers so evil. Like you, they know everything but still they engage in dangerous practices and hide that from us.


            Those organic pesticides, as it turns out are dreadfully toxic to life forms on earth and to people. The pesticides organic farmers are drenching our organic food with are causing the cancer epidemic that is killing us all. Organic farmers and the Organic Consumers Fund are evil, pure evil. They are poisoning the earth and lying about it. We must mandate labeling for organic foods that reveal the use of these deadly toxic biocides organic farmers are abusing.

          • I’m glad the awareness is dawning on you that the agricultural chemicals that are currently used have many bad side-effects. Where you are still confused is in apparently believing that this is more of a problem with organic food. No, it is very clear and obvious that this is more of a problem with conventional food.

          • Organic farming is the obvious problem. Modern agriculture is not a problem. We use inputs responsibly. We continue to reduce the “side effects” of our industry. Not so with organic farmers and organic consumers. They fail to understand, they actively hide their ignorant bungling retro dawbing around. These deceptive organic operators are the problem — they are a risk to misinformed consumers, they are a menace to society. Organic foods MUST be labeled to accurately inform consumers, for the first time, of all risks associated with dangerous organic foods…including pesticide use.

          • It is amazing–you proceed to spread tons of broadscale poisins with your 20th century-beginning mutant chemical agriculture, and you think you have no problem! Now you are going to start mucking with the genes!

            Some people try to address the manifest and huge problems, and you blame all the problems on them!

            With farmers like you, we are going down fast! Thanks so much.

          • With modern farmers like me you have never had access to such abundant safe affordable foods! We use inputs responsibly to feed you safely. It’s all regulated and tested. Oh, but organic, that’s a growing disaster with ignorant organic farmers surreptitiously drenching their crops with clunky primitive poisons, then lying and failing to disclose their toxic activities to consumers. All for the sake of profit. Man, that is sadistic, ghoulish even.

          • Yes-modern agriculture has produced lots of food! But it has been doing it in a way that just cannot continue. It has used much too much fossil fuels, and it has blasted the biosphere with chemicals that are very, sometimes extremely problematic! If you fail to realize that we have to make a deep study of agro-ecology, and radically further change and improve our agricultural methods, than you will help usher in human extinction.

          • Unlike organic farming, which is unsustainable and not improving, modern agriculture feeds you safely and affordably today and we will be here for generations to come still feeding the world. I can safely make that forecast because, unlike stagnant primitive organic farming, modern farming is responsive, it continues to evolve, growing more food with fewer inputs resulting in improved safety and environmental protection. We’re evolving so quickly and successfully anti-agriculture activist cranks like you have been unable to keep up for a decade or longer. Your pathetic whining complaints are stuck in the twentieth century; the 1970s, the 1950s, the 1920s…just like organic farming. You silly armchair agriculture critics should focus your naive angst on the organic industry. That is static, guaranteed by regulation never to improve, never to evolve from it’s clumsy brutal antiquated inhumane production processes. Plenty to legitimately complain about with the current and permanent state of organics and easy to keep up with. Right up your alley, dude.

          • I’m guessing you’ve been making a “deep study of agro-ecology”, am I wrong? Thought so.

            See, it’s easy to guess because you have all the telltale signs of a self-styled agroecologist: dreamy impractical ideology, complete ignorance and a deep disdain of agricultural science, obsolete superficial adoration and misunderstanding of ecology, indefensible reverence of cherrypicked segments of social sciences, penchant for fiction especially historical fiction, molten hot spewing pathological hatred of farmers and agribusiness, unreasonable expectations for loopy alternative agriculture schemes, irrational illusions of a scaled-up science fiction agrarian utopia, stunning ignorance and disrespect for facts and truth, breathtaking talent for reciting complete nonsense while taking yourself much, much too seriously. And the list goes on but those are the highlights.

            Agroecologists: We Believe Our Own Bullshit…And You Should Too!

          • Yes-modern agriculture has produced lots of food!
            Hell yes, Giving you free time to comment on the internet instead of scrounging for broken cookies behind the 7-11.

            But it has been doing it in a way that just cannot continue

            why not? Modern Ag has been around since farming has begun. The first guy that started to use a stick to plant crops, was a modern farmer, the first seed drill invented in 1545 was a modern invention. Rotating crops was a modern invention, Everything is relative.

            and it has blasted the biosphere with chemicals that are very, sometimes extremely problematic!

            Name them. And are the worse or better than the alternatives. Chopping off your gangrenous pinky toe is problematic, but the alternative of dying is a bit more problematic.

            If you fail to realize that we have to make a deep study of agro-ecology
            why? Anyone that knows anything about agriculture knows that agroecology is crap. It is a farming method based on ideology. it would be like comparing flat earth theories to science. Just a waste of time.

          • This is so ignorant about agroecology, I will respond. Agroecology is NOT ideology–it is the study of the ecosystems involved with farming–so that we can gain understanding of those ecosystems. With understanding of the living systems, we can make changes in them that are beneficial to us. Without understanding, changes we make will likly be harmful to the ecosystems–and us. Especially when you are adding toxic chemicals to the system, or changing the genetic makeup of organisms–if you do not have an ecological understanding of what you are doing, you will harm the living system. Which will harm us.

            This is why people study–in many areas, it is helpful to understand the system.

            If you reject that, God help you. You will need it.

        • I know it’s fruitless to recommend something to you, but you are right, pesticide use could be partially or totally eliminated from “organic” or “agroecology” if the smarm rats that engage in that sort of thing might actually support and utilize biotechnology to grow food and fiber. To date, they (you) have not done the right thing and supported biotech via genetic modification. They (you) stand on the sidelines and rant, throw insults, whine for meaningless labels, smarm your customers in the airy-fairy marketplace with green signs in the grocery store, and do just about everything wrong. If you want to cut pesticide usage, get on the right side of the issue for a change. In other words, get your head screwed on right before making inane statements on blog sites such as this. As it is, you’re not making any sense. You’re not getting any traction with any of your posts.

          • I do support biotechnology to grow food and fiber. I’m aware that must be done carefully, being led by what works well to enhance the biosphere–not just the bottom line of super-selfish people and corporations.

            I believe Genetically Engineering Organisms may well have substantial contributions to make. But when you folks use Genetic Engineering to vastly increase the use of broadly toxic, poorly understood chemicals, like roundup and glyphosate and 2,4-D, you are acting ecologically and humanly stupidly.

            You will do much better with your biotechnology if you respect the biosphere, and work to enhance it, not just your own darn wealth and leisure.

            The opacity of people’s vision of ecological health is going to either be a death-knell of our civilization, or people will grow and deepen, in time.

            I’m hoping for the later. How about you?

          • On most of your points above, we agree. I do not agree with your slam against glyphosate and 2,4-D. You need to take into account that the very first GMO registered by the U.S. EPA (19 years ago) was for virus disease resistant papaya, which you should very well know about since your backyard papayas are full of virus. It was not related to the use of any herbicide, and it was not done by any multinational corporation. It was done by an academic institution on behalf of the papaya growers of Hawaii. The unfortunate, and probably unrecognized effect of all the anti-GMO screaming has been to shut down all of these sorts of small-time biotechnology solutions to serious agricultural production problems. There are hundreds of biotech concepts that never made it to fruition because the academic institutions that discovered them don’t have the financial resources to get them through the regulatory system. Do you have any idea of the current cost for getting one new biotech trait through the regulatory process in North America? If you are truly supportive of biotechnology, educate yourself on what level of financial investment it takes to clear the regulatory burden before even one cent of benefit can be returned to the proponent of any new biotech trait. You view big corporations with one suspicious eye, but if you just might make an effort to open the other eye you would soon see why only the big boys in the corporate world can stand the cost of moving forward with biotechnology.

            Take a close look with both eyes open and see what the ignorance of the anti-GMO segment has cost the world in terms of unnecessary human suffering and degradation of the environment. I have extremely high regard for the “biosphere” as you term it (ecosystem is more accurate), and have devoted a great deal of my life to protecting it. Screaming and railing against technology is not the right way to do it. Technology that is available to us today is better than it was just 2 decades ago, and likewise then it was better than throughout the eons that preceded. Take a long view of history, and ask yourself some critical questions about which is better for human and environmental safety– using a moldboard plow, harrow, cultivator, soil-applied herbicide, and/or semi-slave labor to control weeds in a corn crop, or just one pass with glyphosate in a no-till field? Is it better to spray a cotton crop 10 times with broad spectrum, non-selective organophosphate and/or carbamate insecticides, or is it better to put the parasite-specific Bt toxin trait into the crop so that it kills only the insects that are attempting to eat it? More cogently to your own back yard in Hawaii, Is it better to let the remaining few species of honeycreepers in your state be exterminated by avian malaria than to render the malaria vector sterile through biotechnology? I’m challenging you to some introspection next time you raise a stink against the highly trained scientific and technical people who have devoted their entire careers to feeding you, protecting you from disease, protecting the ecosystem, making sure that the actions that they undertake are not negating the progress that we have made as a species so that we are no longer enslaved by mundane responsibilities; so that we have enough free time on our hands to scratch away at computer keyboards without concern for where our next meal is coming from.

          • I won’t deny that much well thought-out improvement has been made in many technologies people use, and such changes sometimes or frequently meet misplaced resistance; however, when changes are made that involve spreading huge amounts of broadly toxic chemicals around the biosphere real harm is done–and this scenario has been repeated again and again. Many people have dived headlong into technologies that poison the Earth–due to chemical ignorance. Now I know that many people involved in biotechnology have advanced intelligence, in some areas, and many of them have studied much chemistry, however it is still true that many of them are burdened by chemical ignorance–specifically, ignorance as to the appropriate use of chemicals in the biosphere. …(Still working on this)…

          • Chemical ignorance certainly is rampant in the organic food industry. It turns out toxic pesticides are used on a great deal of organic food when most consumers of organic food believe it to be pesticide-free…it is not! Organic food is not routinely tested for pesticide safety but in a spot check of organic produce by USDA over 40% of organic produce had residues of as many as 30 different pesticides. About 4% of organic produce had ILLEGAL pesticide residues. The situation was found to be even worse in Canadian organic produce when it was tested.

            Clearly the organic industry needs to encourage transparency for the safety and peace of mind of organic consumers and their children. It is dishonest for the organic industry to market produce on the pretense of being pesticide-free when producers and merchandisers have known all along that is not true. Deception purely out of greed facilitated by chemical ignorance. It should be a crime!

          • Chemiccal ignorance is especially rampant among conventional growers, and the apologists for conventional Agriculture are some of the most morally and scientifically blind and uncaring people on the planet.

          • Chemical ignorance is especially rampant among organic growers, and the apologists for the $60 Billion organic agriculture are some of the most morally and scientifically blind and uncaring people on the planet.

          • Yea–I’ll bet many of those tested residues are due to the massive dousing of the Earth ecosystem with those poisons that conventional agriculture is responsible for. They get everywhere–in most ecosystems, in most organisms.

            Organic agriculture is an attempt to deal with the massive problems caused by ecologically and chemically blind conventional agriculture–problems which many brilliant farmers fail to even notice. I do wonder what shape civilization will be in, in the near future.

          • Ha! If “organic agriculture is an attempt to deal with the massive problems” blah, blah, blah, blah… it is possibly the lamest attempt to resolve an issue ever witnessed. USDA testing demonstrates over 40% of organic produce contains residues of up to 30 different pesticides. About 4% of organic produce contains ILLEGAL pesticide residues (by contrast, conventional produce shows a 1% or less incidence of illegal pesticide residues). Organic agriculture turns out to be a lying scam wherever it is subjected to valid scientific scrutiny. All the excited health claims for organic food have been debunked. All the lofty nutrition claims for organic have been debunked. Many of the spurious environmental claims for organic are now being debunked, including the deceptive safety claims that organic is pesticide-free or it uses only a few safe pesticides responsibly — organic agriculture very deliberately does none of those things, just as it very deliberately defrauds innocent consumers into believing organic is 100% safe.

            Yep, from organic bell peppers to organic strawberries to organic tomatoes to organic potatoes to organic broccoli…nearly half of any of that organic schlock you might consume or feed to your kids will likely feature pesticide residues. And no organic huckster will ever tell you that, even if you ask. This sort of pathetic scamming appears to be what “civilization will be in the near future” if loopy assclowns like you, Shenendoah, are permitted to run the asylum.


          • Mr. Dell, spew your poisons. You are full of them, they pour out, you toxify the Earth, your fellow man, yourself! Enjoy it, while you can! Someday, if nature is kind to us, you may have a chance to repent your garbage spewing! Maybe we will all just get cancer–or maybe just the babies will get mental and endochrine defects! Too bad that you don’t care!

            Oh–do you give a damn? Then please look into farming responsibly.

          • (Append this comment to my comment below beginning, “I won’t deny that …”

            Take glyphosate and Round-Up. Thes chemicals are potent chelates. What effect are they having on the micro-floara and fauna in the guts of all mammals, etc.? It is insane to be spreading that stuff widely through the biosphere, while you do not know what effect you are having.

          • I believe the dangers of glyphosate and Roundup and 2,4-D are only now becoming better understood–AFTER we have already used many thousands of tons of them.

            Don’t you realize, being extremely careful about such a radically new and potent technology is very appropriate? Thousands of people were killed by a GMO, though this was hushed-up by the industry.

            We have much increasing autism and endochrine gland disruption, and hugely increased cancer incidence, all very possibly contributed to by agricultural chemicals.

            You make it sound like the regulations on GMO’s are unnecessarily burdensome–seems to me that humankind’s chemical madness is continuing apace.

            No, you are far from a good point in imagining that people being concerned about new technologies are those causing environmental, meaning biosphere, degradation. Actually, massive environmental degradation has been caused by humankinds head-long rush into broadscale “development”–the extreme over-exploitation of fossil fuels, massive human over-population, the exploitation and destruction of natural ecosystems, spreading radiation, heavy metals, and synthetic chemicals.

            We people need very much to respect nature more than we do, and to work with it, doing what works to enhance the biosphere, not raping it however is convenient to us.

            People absolutely depend upon the biotic world. We want to have the biotic world florish, so that we might florish–not shrival and become less healthy, poisoned by unnatural, hastily conceived and dispersed synthetic chemicals.

          • What you “believe” is totally irrelevant. What you speculate about this well-tested technology is erroneous. What you correlate with glyphosate is just sloppy thinking and bad science.

          • Really 2-4-D? You do know that it has been around since 1940. 12 years before color TV.

            People have been killed by GMO’s, though this was hushed-up by the industry.

            What? Did a bag of seed fall on their head?

          • It never ceases to amaze me how pitifully ignorant people are about spreading mega-tons of highly toxic chemicals throughout the biosphere. It is such blatant ecological and spiritual ignorance–humankind is making a desert, from exhuberant biomes worldwide. And the same people often think they are scientifically informed. May wisdom come to us, before we shatter the world entire!

          • Look, if you have studies and data that show more pesticide use by organic than conventional farming, please share it. That being true is a super-poorly informed guess as to reality.

          • I am familiar with the goals of organic agriculture. If you have a study that finds more pesticides used by organic, please do share them. But of course you can’t.

          • “More…” Per what? Acre? Toxicity level? Look, you have been around here a long time, and people have throw so much info at you that one would think you actually have interest in reading about it. You don’t. It is a waste of time.
            So please continue your fantasy of heathy organic pesticides and just shuffle off. I am not going to waste my time throwing studies your way anymore. You either don’t read them, or can’t understand them.

          • Stop your abusive dialog, man. Get off him. Drop the stick dude. Get polite or get the heck out of here.

          • “Abusive?” By asking him to explain his bizarre comment? You guys really hate it when your appalling presumptions are challenged in any way. Get over it.

          • “Drop the stick”? Seriously???

            Big brave talk coming from a proven fraud, someone who has misidentified himself as a ‘scientist’ a ‘farmer’ a ‘carpenter’, someone who obviously is none of those things, someone who is the very definition of a Dunning-Kruger poseur.

            You asinine anti-technology cranks disrespect facts, science, common sense to duck and dive and squirm around your bogus urban myths. You clowns expose us to your ignorance and your redundant displays of self humiliation. If anyone has earned the honor of having a stick taken to them by a credible commenter it would be the dynamic duo of BobbleheadPC and the Daft Tinkler.

          • Actually, they are very bright, highly educated plant biologists who do this.
            And plant breeders also change genes through mutagenesis.
            Your point is obtuse, as usual.
            Don’t mess with your gene pool. Please don’t breed.

          • “Changing genes” is poor behavior?
            All of your food has had genetic alterations, for centuries.
            Don’t eat it. Bad, bad boy.

          • Changing genes so as to further and require the use of ecologically little tested, broadly toxic chemicals is short-sighted and dangerous.

            Sure, selective breeding has slowly changed genetic make-ups for thousands of years. Now, short-term-profit seeking, ecologically and spiritually ignorant people do it in an afternoon.

          • The pesticides are well tested. You are incorrect.
            Any genetically engineered crops requires many years of testing, it is not done in an afternoon. You are incorrect.

        • Well why would it be obvious? i would think that organic farmers that grow more valuable crops would spend even more money protecting them from pests.

          • You brilliant dolts apparently do not realize that today’s organic agriculture is but a stage in the human effort to develop an ecologically sensible agriculture, which has a long way to go. You’ll could do something positive and help, or you can remain in stubborn ignorance–your choice.

          • They’ve made their choice to double down on denialism just like the sad fools who doubled down on climate change denialism and are still at it, while others are developing the ways that we can live within harmony with the Earth.

          • If you have a study showing the contrary, please share it.

            But you will not find such a study.

            Becuse it is obvious that organic farming uses less pesticides.

  17. Overall good article. I noticed a small error though. LD50 is an animal test protocol, it specifies the dose at which half of the test subjects die, not half the lethal does.

    AND NATURAL KINDS OF PESTICIDES —with approval under the USDA Organic Act – What PESTICIDES are USED MOST OFTEN IN ORGANIC FARMS? – Bt (the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis) is the MOST WIDELY USED PESTICIDE, ACCOUNTING FOR 90 PERCENT OF THE ORGANIC PEST CONTROL MARKET – Andrew Porterfield.”

    The author of this story failed to differentiate between SYNTHETIC
    versus NATURAL, while mentioning to you that the “bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis” (Bt) ACCOUNTS FOR 90% OF THE ORGANIC PEST CONTROL MARKET” The Bt pesticide that is referenced here, is of NATURAL origin.

    CROPS to express the Bt Cry protein (for example, Bt cotton, Bt soy, Bt corn), but is attacked by anti-GMO extremists as being ‘dangerous’) – Andrew Porterfield.”

    What is truly ironic in that statement, is; the author is suggesting that there is no difference, whatsoever, between “Bt ENGINEERED
    INTO GMO CROPS” and Bt used naturally, vis; organic farming.

    That’s simply ludicrous and, very misleading information to publish.

    The bt bacteria, commercially available for organic farming is a preparation of weakened or most often dead bacteria, which is sprayed only in the case of high insect infestation and only onto the affected area – When the insect eats the dead bacterium, the toxin is partially digested in the insect gut by proteolytic (cutting) enzymes and converted to active bt toxin.
    This is actually a lectin which binds to the gut wall of the insects and this interferes with the digestion/absorption of food, thereby preventing growth, maturation, reproduction – The actual bacterium, which is not eaten by any insects, degrades in the light/sun/rain pretty fast (less than a day). The chances of pests developing resistance to it are very low indeed, since all the pests which are exposed to the toxin are affected by it.

    The gene of one, or several of the active, trimmed toxin is transferred to the GM plant and will be synthesized in every single cell of the transgenic plant and the active toxin is being expressed by every cell, all the time. Therefore, the ACTIVE TOXIN IS IN EVERY PLANT CELL AND TISSUE, ALL THE TIME and cannot be washed off – As far as safety is concerned, the active toxins are not easily degraded by gut enzymes and, since they are lectins, they all are very likely to bind to the wall of the mammalian/human gut – The bt toxin is in the soil, in the plant, in the pollen, in the nectar — in short, in every part of the plant which is used as human food or animal feed.


    Symptoms: Red skin; Scaly patches; Blisters that ooze; Burning or itching, which may be intense; Swelling of the eyes, face, and genital area; Hives; Sun sensitivity; Darkened, “leathery,” and cracked skin.

    RE: “Lime sulfur – EPA restricted its used in 2008 so that only professional pesticide appliers could use it – Andrew Porterfield”

    That statement (active URL link) regarding the EPA’s restriction and “professional pesticide appliers” cannot be found in the information which the author has linked to.

    Product information provided in the Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) indicates that lime sulfur products were first registered in 1948. Currently registered products are formulated as soluble concentrates of 27–29% lime-sulfur as the active ingredient. Lime sulfur product labels require personal protective equipment (PPE) for all handlers and a Restricted Entry Interval (time from pesticide application to field reentry) of 48 hours (US EPA, 2005b).

    US EPA determined that the aqueous solutions of calcium polysulfides found in lime sulfur products rapidly degrade to calcium hydroxide and sulfur in the environment and human body. Therefore, residues of lime sulfur are exempt from the requirement of a tolerance under 40 CFR 180.1232.


    THE SUBSTANCE WOULD NOT BE HARMFUL TO HUMAN HEALTH OR THE ENVIRONMENT. The substance is necessary to the production or handling of the agricultural product because of the unavailability of wholly natural substitute products; and
    The substance is consistent with organic farming and

    RE: “Kaolin clay, which provides a physical barrier to sun damage and to insects – Andrew Porterfield”

    The link provided by the author, only leads to an error message: “This page does not seem to exist…”

    Rather than to go on about what may be inferred by the author regarding the use of Kaolin clay in organic farming; I am providing a
    link to the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) website, where you can truly learn about the use of this clay.

    (brackets mine) EMPHASIS provided.

    • Oh, DropseatPC, you must be lonely and bored, dropping by to take another long-winded dump like this. You’re blathering and parsing, as usual, and trying to wish away the existence and toxicity of primitive organic pesticides that are in common use in organic foods you feed to your children every day.

      What we do know, in addition to the fact toxic pesticides are used in organic food, is that nearly half of all organic foods in the U.S. contain pesticide residues. About 4% contain ILLEGAL pesticide residues!

      The situation is even worse in Canada. There authorities discovered nearly half of organic produce contained pesticide residues. Many pesticides found are ILLEGAL in organic produce and present at such high levels the official conclusion is that those illegal pesticides most likely are being used deliberately by cheating organic farmers!

      Bad news about the nasty deceptive organic industry. And here you are, DropseatPC, continuing to perpetrate the organic hoax as if you were a True Believer. Shame, shame DropseatPC, for shame!

      • RE: “…you must be lonely and bored, dropping by to take another long-winded dump like this.”

        Dropping by?

        You live here then?

        What I posted is information containing facts backed by science.

        What you have posted in reply, is your usual DroneFarmerBS.

        The following is from your first URL:

        “Of these 571 samples, 96 percent were compliant with USDA organic regulations (see Figure ES1). This means that the produce either had no detected residues (57 percent) or had residues less than 5 percent of the EPA tolerance (39 percent). Four percent of the tested samples contained residues above 5 percent of the EPA tolerance and were in violation of the USDA organic regulations. THE FINDINGS SUGGEST THAT SOME OF THE SAMPLES IN VIOLATION WERE MISLABELED CONVENTIONAL (not organic) PRODUCTS, WHILE OTHERS WERE ORGANIC PRODUCTS THAT HADN’T BEEN ADEQUATELY PROTECTED FROM PROHIBITED PESTICIDES. The National Organic Program is working with certifying agents to provide additional scrutiny in these areas.”

        RE: “What we do know, in addition to the fact toxic pesticides are used in organic food, is that nearly half of all organic foods in the U.S. contain pesticide residues. About 4% contain ILLEGAL pesticide residues!”

        That can not be found anywhere in the information which you linked to.

        What we rather believe to be true, is that you are spewing only more DroneFarmerBS.

        RE: “There authorities discovered nearly half of organic produce contained pesticide residues – official conclusion is that those illegal pesticides most likely are being used deliberately by cheating organic farmers!”

        The word conclusion is nowhere to be found in the CBC story.

        Again; your second URL, like your first, in no way supports your wild unfounded allegations, and as always; its simply misinformation, or more appropriately: DroneFarmerBS.

        Not surprised!

        • Deny, deny, deny, that’s your tired old go-to move every time you drop by, take a dump and are debunked with documented fact…every time!

          Toxic poison on nearly half of all organic produce when we are led to believe that organic schlock is pesticide-free. That’s just nasty, DropseatPC, just nasty and ugly. That’s the organic industry, and you the self-assigned spokesperson, and all. Shameful.

          • DroneFarmerBS

            You provide links that do not support your fantasies.

            Drop by reality sometime; if you can handle it.

            Keep up your trolling expedition.

            It works for me to prove how much DroneFarmerBS you GMO activist can spew.

        • Deny, deny, deny, that’s your tired old go-to move every time you drop by, take a dump and are debunked with documented fact…every time!

          Toxic poison on nearly half of all organic produce when we are led to believe that organic schlock is pesticide-free. That’s just nasty, DropseatPC, just nasty and ugly. That’s the organic industry, and you the self-assigned spokesperson, and all. Shameful.

          You are dismissed, DropseatPC, so just waddle away and cut your losses.

    • Bt in GE crops is not harmful to humans. It only affects insect guts. Look it up. Your reference to “gmwatch” is a joke. But you’ve been told that before.

      • RE: “Bt in GE crops is not harmful to humans. It only affects insect guts. Look it up – agscienceiliterate”

        That’s funny.

        Or you can provide one of those scores of unpublished non peer-reviewed ‘citations’ that GMO activist like you, rely on.

        Talk about jokes? You come right out of a comic book.

        Look it up!

        • Sent you numerous links on this topic already.
          You did not read them. Can’t help ya.

          For more intellectually curious readers: Google “Bt human insect guts” and you will find numerous scholarly articles about the vast difference between human and insect guts, and why Bt only affects the latter.

          • RE: “Sent you numerous links on this topic already. You did not read them. Can’t help ya – agscienceiliterate”.

            You have never sent me anything, except for your GMO activist rhetoric, and ya right ya can’t help me.

            I provided information with references, which showed without a shadow of a doubt, that all the studies used by the Europeans “RMS”, to come to ‘their’ bias conclusions; disagreeing with the IARC on their findings regarding the carcinogenicity of Glyphosate, were supplied by the manufacturers of the said glyphosate pesticides, and non of the studies used were ever published or peer-reviewed.

            GMO activists like you, and the ones that vote for you, get furious when challenged with facts and science. They just hate that.

            For more intellectually curious readers:

            GM Bt insecticidal crops pose hazards to people and animals that eat them

          • earthopensource is an activist site. Biased and full of misinfo. I told you where to look and have sent you links before when you made this same mistake. Not doing it again.
            Are you just intellectually lazy? You could have learned about the differences between human and insect guts re Bt, but you chose instead to waste your time on a rant.

          • RE: “earthopensource is an activist site. Biased and full of misinfo”

            No, you and your cohorts are; GMO activists promoting misinformation.

            Organic or naturally growing food has been around much, much longer than science, and especially the ‘science’ which is trying to change food as we have known it for thousands of years. Therefore, it is people like yourself and those who spread their DroneFarmerBS that are practicing activism.

            RE: “Are you just intellectually lazy?”

            Far from it; you are simply walking around in your programmed environment which keeps you comfortably on your Path of Least Resistance – and the reason for your demeanor, comes from being too scared to leave it.

            No matter how many times I provide credible evidence, with equally credible references as well; showing that Conflicts of Interest have been determined to exist between the government regulatory agencies and the biotech/agri-chemical industries, you come back with the same old rhetoric. That’s because you have nothing else and continue to grasp at the straws.

            What you chose to waste your time on, is obviously your prerogative, albeit being the personification of intellectual laziness, but what I more easily believe, is; you can’t handle the truth.

            Laboratory created food products are not wanted, and are not acceptable as food, by most.

          • Let’s see. Organic is good, lab created is bad. I’ve said to you before, which you have ignored, that foods created through mutagenesis, including organic food, are created in a lab by guys in white coats. You’re OK with that though, right?
            You just continue to post woo sites, ignore the sites that I do give you relative to BT and insect and human guts, because you have an agenda. Keep it up, and yes, you’re incredibly intellectually lazy. As well as hypocritical and disingenuous.

          • RE: “I’ve said to you before, which you have ignored, that foods created through mutagenesis, including organic food, are created in a lab by guys in white coats – agscienceiliterate”

            You have confused me with someone else, perhaps. You have never said any such thing to me before – and I surely would not have ignored such erroneous misinformation, especially coming from the likes of you.

            “…the NOP (National Organic Program) further concludes that cell fusion (including protoplast fusion) is not considered an excluded method when the donor cells/protoplasts fall within the same taxonomic plant family, and when donor or recipient organisms ARE NOT DERIVED USING TECHNIQUES OF RECOMBINANT DNA TECHNOLOGY (in other words: GMOs).”

            RE: “You just continue to post woo sites, ignore the sites that I do give you relative to BT and insect and human guts – agscienceiliterate”

            You’re simply repeating yourself, because you have no more ground to stand on, due to all the mud slinging you partake in.

            Your site references are all just onesided, and the information available at ‘those’ sites, are for proponents of the GMO industry, with information and studies provided by the ‘industry’ – ‘their’ (manufacturer’s of pesticides and GMO products) studies are unpublished, the data is owned by ‘them’ and is not allowed to be seen by independent scientist researchers, and none of the studies have ever been peer-reviewed. So why should I continue to waste anymore time to see the same scripted evidence?

            In contrast: I have gone to great lengths to show that the RMS’s decision to contradict the IARC conclusion on glyphosate pesticides, was simply bogus and rife with Conflicts of Interests.

            I seriously doubt that you know the meanings of ‘hypocritical and disingenuous’.

            Just because the USDA (NOP) is accepting of irradiating or chemically bathing seeds with toxic and or carcinogenic substances, to produce mutations which are then referred to as organic, is by no means acceptable to me, and neither is it acceptable by many others as well.

            It only goes to show how broken the system is, and that’s a whole other matter, in of itself.

    • Neck, we’ve already ripped your logic apart before (check your posts from 5 to 6 months ago where you completely lost). You’re just a trained chimp, flailing away at a keyboard in a padded behavioral lab. No one ever pays any attention to you, evidenced by your lack of up-votes on this blog site and others. You just haunt these places looking to waste others’ time.

  19. RE: “No farmer likes pesticides. If it were possible to grow food without them, nobody would hesitate. But this isn’t possible around the world – In fact, pesticide use overall has dropped, as much due to genetically modified foods as to better tillage and other farming practices – Andrew Porterfield.”

    Herbicide (PESTICIDE) – resistant crop technology has led to a 239 million kilogram (527 million pound) increase in herbicide (PESTICIDE) use in the United States between 1996 and 2011, while Bt crops have reduced insecticide applications by 56 million kilograms (123 million pounds). Overall, pesticide use increased by an estimated 183 million kgs (404 million pounds), or about 7%.

    Contrary to often-repeated claims that today’s genetically-engineered crops have, and are reducing pesticide use, the spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds in herbicide-resistant weed management systems has brought about substantial increases in the number and volume of herbicides applied. If new genetically engineered forms of corn and soybeans tolerant of 2,4-D are approved, the volume of 2,4-D sprayed could drive herbicide usage upward by another approximate 50%. The magnitude of increases in herbicide use on herbicide-resistant hectares has dwarfed the reduction in insecticide use on Bt crops over the past 16 years, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

    Its either conveniently overlooked, or not to clearly, or assertively mentioned; Bt (GMO) Crops are PESTICIDE producing products in the GMO ‘farmer’s fields’ – this new form of PESTICIDE production is Genetically Engineered by scientist in a laboratory, where both are owned by the Monsanto’s and Syngenta’s of the ‘GMO industry’.

    The above referenced analysis, addresses this point however, and in detail too – “every plant in a Bt corn or cotton field is manufacturing within its cells one or more forms of the natural bioinsecticide Bacillus thuringiensis. The rate of synthesis of Bt Cry protein endotoxins is roughly proportional to the rate of plant growth. SEE: Bt corn and cotton impacts and prospects.

    In November of 2014, this site published the following information:

    “GMO meta-study: Pesticide use down 37%, yields up 22%, profits rise 68%”

    The information provided was compiled from outdated data (more than likely; just more data owned by the industry’s manufacturers of pesticides; ‘them’ providing ‘their’ own unpublished and non peer-reviewed so-called studies) from the early 2000s, before PESTICIDE RESISTANT SUPERWEEDS and Bt MAIZE which also increased the prevalence of other PESTICIDE RESISTANT PESTS, which in effect, only triggered higher costs, increased PESTICIDE usage, and other inconveniences for GMO farmers.

    • Neck, I see you’ve stuck it out again, only to get it chopped off. You didn’t read the article, else you would have observed that everything you stated is wrong. Read again. Then again. After about 10 tries, you might just get one or two of the points….which is that herbicide and other pesticide usage, plus their environmental impacts, have actually declined since the advent of biotechnology 20 years ago. Where have you been??

  20. So, reduce the junk food you eat. You could start with targeting corn syrup, glucose syrup and the like. I use organic in my garden. No chemicals whatsoever. The bumble bees and butterflies love it. And the snails and birds, too. Whatever grows in my garden I don’t need to buy.

    Within the next 30 years the world’s population is growing by 50%. Better get ready.

    verticalgardens, balcony, terrace, windowsill, pots;
    herbs, lettuce, flowers, beans, tomatoes, roots, fruits – there’s something for every size.

    Plant a fruit tree with your kids or grandkids. Grow an avocado tree from seed.

    Collect slugs and caterpillars by hand from your plants.

  21. Misleading article. Can one call it propaganda, perhaps not. However, cayenne pepper although it is a “pesticide” used by organic farmers it isn’t toxic. A fence could be considered a “pesticide” as it deters animal pests from eating your crops.

    • You say cayenne pepper isn’t toxic. Neither are pyrethroid or neonicotinoid insecticides. Neither are most herbicides used by growers today. Neither are fungicides that are used to control diseases. None of them are as toxic as cayenne pepper. What’s your point?

  22. Well I have read a lot of rubbish about organic farming and the generalisations in this article are typical hogwash. The two local farms that supply the food I consume for ten months of the year do not, I repeat, do not use and don’t have to use any pesticides at all. One farmer, a true lover of the earth, has sacked the soil association, who have lost their way, for not being diligent enough.
    This article makes false and erroneous claims.

  23. I farmed organic. With a very healthy soil, most plants are not attached by pests. Companion planting and the use of BT was all I used. I did get horn worms on my tomatoes one year. But they are huge and easily picked off and put out for the birds.

  24. The text is not completely fair. The statement that they are prohibited to use “almost all” synthetic pesticides, and that “only 10” are allowed, are not contradictory at all.

  25. This article is completely misleading.

    That statement is a blatant uninformed LIE.
    That is THE WHOLE POINT.

    This is an extremely stupid article written to convince people to keep buying Monsanto crops.
    Who’s payroll are you on?!

    • You are obviously not a farmer, and know nothing about the growing of the food that sustains you, nor about the technology that underpins agricultural systems. You should learn.

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