Organic Pesticides Aren't Necessarily Greener

Organic Pesticides Aren't Necessarily Greener

Trent Johnson
Jul 2, 2010

If you're like us, the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word "Organic" is that it's going to be greener than its non-organic counterpart. Well, that might not be the case when it comes to some pesticides labeled as organic. According to a new study, organic-certified pesticides might not always be the greenest choice.

An article recently published in PLoS One suggests that the environmental impact of certain organic pesticides might actually be higher than conventional but "risk reduced" synthetic pesticides. While the study was conducted on soybeans, it's easy to see how the same could be true for other crops.

Not only did the organic insecticide show to have a higher environmental impact quotient at labeled field use rates, but the organic insecticides also showed reduced efficacy against the target pest, aphids, as well as proved more detrimental to natural aphid enemies. While I'm surely not an advocate against the use of organic pesticides, this study does show that we cannot blindly assume that all organic pesticides are going to be better on the environment than their synthetic counterparts.

Via: Arstechnica.

(Images: 1. Flickr member Tmray02 licensed under Creative Commons; 2. Flickr member Sustainable Sanitation licensed under Creative Commons)

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