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Reduced pesticide use in organic farming boosts manual labor as much as 35%

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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Gleaming organic products have come to occupy an increasingly large portion of grocery store shelves. Many may think that compared to traditional agriculture, organic foods are healthier, containing more nutrients and fewer pesticide residues.

Contrary to popular belief, organic farms are allowed to use pesticides …. Organic food often still uses organically-certified pesticides, which may impact both the health of the food and the health of the people growing it.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Organic vs GMO debate distracts from real food security issues

…. Synthetic pesticides and genetically modified crops are effective—by choosing not to use them, organic agriculture requires more manually-intensive labor—sometimes as much as 35 percent more. Herbicides used in organic farming are often less effective at eradicating weeds, requiring more physical weeding. Because organic farms don’t use as much fertilizer, cover crops are needed to enhance soil nitrogen levels—which in turn increases the amount of labor time invested in each field.

Read full, original article: Organic food is booming, but it’s grinding field laborers into the dirt

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