(This is the next post in my “Organic” series. If you missed the first one, you can find it here.)
It may surprise you to learn that organic farmers use pesticides. The only difference is that, for the most part, their pesticides must derive from natural sources rather than a laboratory. Does this make them safer than synthetic ones?
Consider—copper sulfate, an organic pesticide allowed by the USDA, is more toxic than some synthetic pesticides; an overdose can cause anemia, liver disease, mutations and cancer. Arsenic is a natural substance, but is so toxic that it is banned by the USDA for use on organic crops. Nicotine-derived pesticides, another group of natural chemicals, are also considered too dangerous for use by organic farmers.