Organickers/Anti-GMO and pesticides: Fear vs. reality

One of the biggest whines of the Organickers and Antis, (besides take me to Portland)  is how GMO and conventional farming douses, drenches, drowns, their crops in pesticides. And like all their other imaginary facts, this one is imaginary as well; like the idea that organic farming uses no toxic pesticides

A recent post on the Genetic Literacy Project website by an actual real life farmer,  sets the record straight. He shows how they don’t drench or douse their crops in pesticides.

Does GMOFreeUSA actually think we load up big tankers of herbicide and drown our crops with the stuff? First, they don’t understand the meaning of the word drown; second, to really drench a crop we would have to use one of those big tanker airplanes they use to fight forest fires. The video in this link, for example, would qualify as a drenching, probably not a drowning. Sorry, that simply is not what we do on a modern farm.

In fact, it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

You can read the post here: Myth: GM farmers “drown” crops in “dangerous” glyphosate. Fact: Farmers use eye droppers

Here’s the bottom line

So next time you’re at Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks picking up an extra large of your favorite coffee, that’s approximately the amount of herbicide we spread on a football field sized area of a field.

And while we’re on the subject, I came across this website, thegreengok. It is a site written by Bill Chameides and a part of the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment. 

He cites some interesting statistics regarding pesticide use in a post called Statistically Speaking: Lawns by the Numbers

If what he writes is correct, the Organickers and Antis should be going after their lawn owning neighbors and not farmers. What was one of his statistics?

Ratio of pesticide use per acre by the average homeowner versus the average farmer: 10 to 1

Ouch!

Here are some others

  • Percent that include possible carcinogens: 53%
  • Percent that pose a threat to the environment, including water supplies, aquatic organisms, and non-targeted insects: 100%

Another bit of pesticide nonsense is the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen.”  Here’s a great analysis by Steve Savage. How Wrong Is The Latest Dirty Dozen List?

I really wish my tribe would look at facts and evidence rather than nonsense. An even bigger wish, I wish my tribe would believe in science, not just the science which fits their worldview

3 Thoughts on “Organickers/Anti-GMO and pesticides: Fear vs. reality

  1. Actually when I was a kid they DID drench our entire town with pesticides. Airplanes flew overhead and sprayed our whole town. To get rid of some kind of fruit fly, my Mom says. Ah, those were the good ol’ days! 1960 or so, about the same time people thought it was cool to watch atom bomb tests.

    GMO crops are good news in terms of pesticide use though. There is a good article here:

    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/03/20/bjorn-lomborg-indias-gm-crop-success/
    http://www.biofortified.org/2012/06/genetically-modified-crops-shrink-farmings-pesticide-footprint/

    about the success of GMO crops in India (hint: they don’t cause suicides among farmers, and decrease the need for pesticides).

    Personally though, I figure that shortly GMO will be very popular, once people figure out it can do fun, necessary, or tasty stuff. Like glowing trees to light your street!

    http://www.glowingplant.com/seeds

  2. Loren Eaton on June 5, 2014 at 2:02 pm said:

    Bernie,
    I think the use of qualitative (as opposed to quantitative) language is a totally calculated move on their part. In addition to the three D words above, they use words like ‘powerful’ viral promoters. Powerful relative to what? Toxic relative to what? When one does ‘real’ science (where context and point of reference are critical), these words do nothing but act as red meat for the intended audience.
    Same for terms like could, might, maybe, linked, implicated, correlated….all words intended to say ’cause’, without actually saying it.
    Most people understand that the use of word ‘contaminated’ when applied to coexistence of crops, REALLY means commingled (in the same place at the same time). The word contaminated is MEANT to scare people because in our society it implies toxicity and harm.

  3. Jay Norris on June 6, 2014 at 5:07 pm said:

    Years ago when I was young and lived on an air force base in Texas we were wakened every morning by the sounds of guys on tractors towing “fogging” machines for mpsquito control. We found out later that this “fog” was DDT! When they were finished we would walk to the bus stops through those “fogged”areas and come home to play in those very same areas. the scarier part is that the wives all had their nightly laundry hanging out to dry in the warm Texas evening and I can still remember the smell on my school clothes. Has anyone ever done a study on this? I am curious since I have lost a number of my immediate family to cancer at years before their time.

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