Slow Food’s 10 Pesticide Control Facts Exposed

The organic activist group Slow Food recently released its list of “10 Essential Facts About Pesticides,” a post designed to “raise awareness about the dangers and dangers of pesticides and pressure European policy makers to commit to drastic reductions in pesticides.” A quick look at the article reveals a serious problem, although there is not a single fact listed, each of the 10 points is an oversimplification or outright error.

When used correctly, pesticides do not pose a significant public health risk. No policy maker anywhere needs to commit to a global reduction in the use of these chemicals. If you know anyone who tends to believe the rhetoric of organic activists, send them my list below as an antidote. Slow food in quotes, followed by my reply.

Our current agricultural model that relies heavily on the excessive use of pesticides poses a risk to human health and the environment.”

Anytime someone claims that farmers are using “excessive” amounts of pesticides, ask them for the appropriate amounts. Are some chemicals more dangerous than others? Should some be banned and others allowed? They almost certainly won’t be able to tell you because they most likely don’t know how to apply these products in agricultural settings or that are regulated by agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency.

My colleague Dr. Josh Bloom is so impatient with journalists complaining about “artificial sweeteners” as if they were a single product that, for some unknown reason, comes in different colored packages. These sweeteners are very different from each other chemically. The same applies to pesticides: they contain different active ingredients that have unique modes of action; Some are intended to kill insects, others are weeds, or harmful microorganisms. We cannot discuss pesticides meaningfully if we ignore the qualities that distinguish one from the other.

The use of pesticides has failed to help end world hunger, and claims that pesticides are essential to food security are misleading, according to the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food.

The UN Special Rapporteur is wrong. I invite them to move to a country that unnecessarily restricts the use of pesticides. Having lived through a year of food shortages, perhaps they can write another report documenting their experience. The simple fact is that modern pesticides have made possible tremendous advances in public health; Use any metric you want – lower mortality, disability, infectious disease, or better quality of life. The result is the same.

Chronic exposure to pesticides has been linked [a long list of scary diseases]. “

Associated with ‘a slippery epidemiological phrase that can mean just about anything. It could indicate that people who get cancer, for example, have been exposed to some pesticides at some point in their lives. But this is not the same as asserting that “exposure to pesticide A causes cancer.” Quacks like Joe “Crazy Joe” Mercola routinely confuse these two very different observations. Slow Food stop being ashamed of making this same fallacy.

Pesticides are everywhere: Pesticide residues have been detected in many places including people’s bedrooms and children’s playgrounds.”

“Disclosure” is another misleading term. I was able to “detect” trace amounts of insecticide that an Orcian man sprayed in my backyard a month ago. There is not enough to hurt my little son or my pets, but it was enough to kill the wasps that tried to set up shop in the garden. This goes to my point above about the “excessive” use of pesticides. Context is everything.

Pesticides are bad business: Each year, about 385 million acute unintentional pesticide poisonings are reported, resulting in nearly 11,000 deaths annually. Farmers and farm workers, particularly in the Global South, are the hardest hit.”

Emphasis on “unintentional” and “acute”. Most of these accidents are due to improper handling or attempted suicide. Every cleaning product and pharmaceutical drug we buy carries a label that warns us to “use as directed”. Pesticides carry similar labels with detailed instructions on how and how to do it no use them. Each of these poisonings is tragic, and most of them are avoidable, but none of them talk about the really contentious issue: chronic exposure to pesticides. Activists often confuse acute and long-term toxicity in order to unnecessarily frighten the public.

… [M]Any toxic pesticides banned in Europe for health or environmental reasons are still produced and exported to countries outside the European Union with weaker health and environmental laws, causing huge impacts on human health and the environment. “

The fallacy banned in Europe is a meme adored by environmental groups around the world. Governments ban a lot of things for many reasons. China carefully regulates the speech of its citizens. Should the United States then repeal the First Amendment? of course not.

Most importantly, Europe is notorious for its technophobia; For example, European Union countries continue to severely restrict biotech crops grown by other countries without incident. Policy decisions are often driven by factors other than sound science. The fact that a particular jurisdiction bans the pesticide doesn’t tell us anything useful in and of itself.

We tackled six of Slow Food’s 10 pesticide “facts”. We will pause here to keep this article at a reasonable length. Check out the other four and see if you can spot the faulty logic they require. Tell us how you did in the comments section below.

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