It would not be possible to feed 7.6 billion people today without pesticides – let alone the 9-10 billion expected by 2050. So as well as being cautious and sparing in pesticide usage, let’s also give them some praise.
Reporting on two new papers on neocotinoids and bee health single out the pesticides, but a closer look at the data doesn’t support that angle.
Terence Bradshaw, Director of the UVM Horticulture Research and Education Center tries to bring some sanity and context to the use of protective gear when applying pesticides in both organic and conventional systems.
Kevin Folta explains how a report on pesticides from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food inadvertently makes the case for modernizing agriculture in the developing world.
There are certain requirements that agriculture must meet to produce food and to keep producing food. We should view them as a hierarchy, such that if the top requirement is not attained, the lower requirements do not mean much, but once the top requirement has been met, we can move to the next one, provided that how we do it does not threaten any of the requirements above it. Each component is required, but not sufficient; all of them are needed.
Whether pesticide use is still a major environmental concern in farming remains a central debate. Let’s look at the data.