> It seems to me that if there is a chance that all of these chemicals are
> causing harm to human life, it would be a good idea to ban them or at
> least suspend them until there are studies proving them safe for human
I would contend that chemical use is a technology much the same as the
automobile, and as such it can do some harm, but it can also do allot of good.
Outright banning of pesticides would be similar to banning automobiles. There
are millions on this planet who can't afford to or have chosen not to own a
vehicle just like there are millions who farm without the use of chemicals
either by choice or because they are unavailable or expensive. If gasoline
would be discovered today I doubt that it would be legalized due to safety
considerations and possible toxic effects. BTW, gas is more toxic then most
current pesticides on the market! (allot of us probably pumped some today!)
Most everything we do has a certain amount of risk and even compounds used on
certified organic farms are toxic if used inappropriately.
> The most alarming part to me about the frontline special was the part
> about decreases in IQ. I think that we have already seen some decreases in
I won't argue that IQ is decreasing but attributing it solely to the use of
pesticides is certainly a weak proposition. I'm not saying there isn't a
remote possibility here, but don't you think that TV, lack of respect for
teachers, and just plain down doom and gloom that some are portraying (even
some sanetters) isn't having an affect on a persons desire to think for
themselves and be all that they can be?
> I guess that I don't consider the millions or billions of dollars that
> can be made (mostly by a few large pesticide companies) by the chemicals
> to be worth the potential cost.
How many auto manufacturers are there? How much money do they make?
What damage has the auto industry done to harm the environment? Is the
automobile industry worth the potential cost in the long term? Should we ban
cars? Why do you own a car? Is it convenient? Does it make you money?
Is it worth the risk to drive down the road fully knowing that you might get
killed or injured, hurt someone else, and all the while destroying the
environment? From an ideological standpoint cars should be banned!
My point in this analogy is that we need to look at the bigger picture. To
promote banning of cars would be ridiculous. What we could do however would be
to encourage people to use energy efficient vehicles, use public
transportation when possible, and carpool when feasible. To get mainstream
farmers attention, we as sustainable proponents need to promote
*proven/profitable* strategies for the reduction of pesticides and educate
them on *researched/ practical* ways to incorporate sustainable techniques,
not the banning of pesticides. A whole lot more will be acomplished if we can
get 90% of conventional farmers to reduce their pesticides by 25% then by
getting 10% of farmers to quite using pesticides.
-- "New Generation Cropping Systems": the cutting edge of sustainable agriculture
http://www.cedarmeadowfarm.com Steve Groff Cedar Meadow Farm 679 Hilldale Rd Holtwood PA 17532 USA Ph. 717-284-5152
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