I should make a blog category called “duh.” Articles with headlines such as this would get filed away there. Not to rant, but sometimes it boggles my mind that corporations make deadly chemicals to apply to OUR FOOD; farmers buy it without question and use it on OUR FOOD; and dumb consumers eat it, again without question.
Anyway, ranting over, the story in the Associated Press this past week discussed advice from the Washington State University Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center to farmers: find another way to control crop pests, besides pesticides are dangerous. (Duh). That’s because people and governments are finally starting to realize how dangerous these pesticides are.
One insecticide under fire is azinphos-methol, or AZM, long employed in apple orchards to eradicate codling moths.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced last month it would phase out use of AZM by 2012.
AZM is in a pesticide category known as an organophosphates.
Organophosphates are among the most commonly used pesticides worldwide, both for agriculture and domestic use. For humans, overexposure can cause acute toxic effects: wheezing, nausea, headaches, seizures and in extreme cases, death.
Farmworker safety groups have been lobbying for the insecticides to be banned, and chemical companies have been working to develop less-toxic alternatives. Some already are on the market, while others are still awaiting approval by the federal government.
Isn’t it funny that AZM is considered toxic to farmworkers who are “overexposed” to it, but it’s OK for us to eat it? Anyway, Washington State University says that farmers should look for “alternative” pesticides since organophosphates like AZM seem to be on their way out the door:
The end is still years out, but agricultural experts say it might not be the last such insecticide to be banned or further restricted, and fruit growers should start researching alternatives now so as not to panic later.
“It’s time to begin _ even if the regulatory environment isn’t forcing it _ using these alternatives to have a better understanding of how they work,” said Jay Brunner, entomologist and director of the Washington State University Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center.
It’s too bad that large scale farmers can’t practice sustainable forms of fruit growing, such as permaculture, that wouldn’t require as many pesticides to begin with!
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.