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In Choosing Pesticides, The “Organic” Label Shouldn’t Be The Deciding Factor

June 22, 2010: 11:49 PM EST
A new Canadian study provides evidence that organic pesticides aren’t necessarily environmentally friendly, mainly because larger amounts are needed to get the job done. The study tested the effectiveness and environmental impact of a mineral oil-based organic pesticide, two conventional pesticides and two new reduced-risk synthetic pesticides on soybean crop aphids. Using a measurement scheme that analyzes the impact of ingredients on various environmental factors, including leeching rate into the soil toxicity to animals, the researchers found that the mineral oil organic pesticide affected the environment most because it requires large amounts of it to smother the aphids. It was also less effective than the novel synthetic pesticides and while destroying beneficial insects.
Christine A. Bahlai, Yingen Xue, Cara M. McCreary, Arthur W. Schaafsma, Rebecca H. Hallett, "Choosing Organic Pesticides over Synthetic Pesticides May Not Effectively Mitigate Environmental Risk in Soybeans", PLosOne, June 22, 2010, © PLosOne
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