Choosing Organic Pesticides over Synthetic Pesticides May Not Effectively Mitigate Environmental Risk in Soybeans

Soybean fields in Argentina - Creative commons image credit: Alfonso

[tweetmeme http://www.URL.com]   Christine A. Bahlai, Yingen Xue, Cara M. McCreary,  Rebecca H. Hallett and Arthur W. Schaafsma (University of Guelph) have published an analytical article on relative effects of organic versus synthetic pesticides on the environment.  The abstract to their work:

Selection of pesticides with small ecological footprints is a key factor in developing sustainable agricultural systems. Policy guiding the selection of pesticides often emphasizes natural products and organic-certified pesticides to increase sustainability, because of the prevailing public opinion that natural products are uniformly safer, and thus more environmentally friendly, than synthetic chemicals.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We report the results of a study examining the environmental impact of several new synthetic and certified organic insecticides under consideration as reduced-risk insecticides for soybean aphid (Aphis glycines) control, using established and novel methodologies to directly quantify pesticide impact in terms of biocontrol services. We found that in addition to reduced efficacy against aphids compared to novel synthetic insecticides, organic approved insecticides had a similar or even greater negative impact on several natural enemy species in lab studies, were more detrimental to biological control organisms in field experiments, and had higher Environmental Impact Quotients at field use rates.

Conclusions/Significance

These data bring into caution the widely held assumption that organic pesticides are more environmentally benign than synthetic ones. All pesticides must be evaluated using an empirically-based risk assessment, because generalizations based on chemical origin do not hold true in all cases.

Read the full paper in PDF format by clicking here.

Citation: Bahlai CA, Xue Y, McCreary CM, Schaafsma AW, Hallett RH (2010) Choosing Organic Pesticides over Synthetic Pesticides May Not Effectively Mitigate Environmental Risk in Soybeans. PLoS ONE 5(6): e11250. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011250

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Listed

    Bloglisting.net - The internets fastest growing blog directory Blog Directory Subscribe with Bloglines Environmental Activism Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory Online Marketing ToplistOnToplist Analytics is brought to you by praca
    Add blog to our directory.
%d bloggers like this: