Regarding the banning of pesticides, and health problems notwithstanding, the following stats
regarding pesticide usecan help folks determine if pesticides are really worth the potential
> - In 1990, five billion pounds of pesticides were annually applied to food
> crops worldwide. 840 million pounds were used in the US. This number increases
> yearly as pests develop resistance and chemical companies push new dosage
> recommendations and new formulations.
> - The International Joint Commission under George Bush estimated that $75
> billion in health care costs are related to toxic substances. (This number is
> undoubtedly higher now)
> - More energy is used in producing synthetic fertilizers (also pollutants)
> than is used in tilling, cultivating and harvesting all the crops in the US.
> - Measured by traditional methods, the average farm shows an $80/acre profit.
> If you calculate in the costs of soil loss, water contamination and
> environmental degradation caused by conventional chemical farming practices
> (this does not include the cost of human illness or lowered IQ), the average
> farm would show a $29/acre LOSS (World Resources Institute)
> - 58 million pounds of pesticides banned from use in the US were exported for
> use on food crops overseas between 1991 and 1994. These included DDT,
> chlordane, heptachlor and paraquat. Many of those food crops are then exported
> back to the United States for our consumption.
> - At least 520 insects, 150 plant diseases and 13 weeds have developed
> resistance to one or more pesticides meant to control them. At least 20
> insects are resistant to all major classes of insecticides and several plant
> diseases are immune to most fungicides used against them (Worldwatch Institute)
> - Inadvertently killing beneficial insects in agriculture through the use of
> insecticides costs us over $500 million annually in crop losses and additional pesticides.
> - Triazine and acetanilide herbicides contaminate virtually every surface
> drinking water source in the Mississippi basin. Every spring and early summer,
> contamination levels regularly exceed EPA standards. These contaminants affect
> around 12 million people, including hundreds of thousands of infants. (EPA)
> - No information currently exists (though this may change soon) on toxicity
> for 80% of the 75,000 chemicals listed by the EPA, because they have never
> been tested. These chemicals are in daily use in the U.S.
> - In the US, despite the use of pesticides, 35% of potential crops are lost to
> insects, diseases and weeds. In 1945, before synthetic pesticides came into
> use, crop losses were 33%. (Cornell University)
> - Today, in the US, we could reduce pesticide use by 50% without any increase
> in crop losses or change in cosmetic standards. If we changed our cosmetic
> standards allowing a few holes in the outer leaves of lettuce or rust spots on
> an orange rind, we could reduce pesticide use by a further 20% (Cornell University)
-- Attend our 5th annual Field day, July 29th. Check website for details! "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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