German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture data show that use of crop protection products, e.g. pesticides, went down last year and Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner notes that has been the trend since 2012. Klöckner says it shows Germany is “on the right track” when it comes to reducing use of pesticides but anti-science groups are angry.
They say that the drop in pesticide usage is not good enough. Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth Germany, and Pesticide Action Network Germany all say the reductions could be related to weather and that the government needs to implement more Draconian methods against farmers – unless they are organic farmers.
But that is not a valid scientific position. Copper sulfate, the older, less effective pesticide still considered organic, does not work as well, which means it requires far more in the way of application. If government data included pesticide load per area, it would show that the reduction in Germany would have been far greater if organic farming were not a government-subsidized industry. It is quite literally the case that the increase in organic farming in Germany has held back Germany’s commitment to pesticide reduction.