Farm Progress is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Activists ganging up against ag chemicides

At a recent meeting I attended, one of the featured speakers present expressed fears that enormous foundation funding was providing resources to establish a new 10-year campaign, this time aimed directly at chemicals and their offspring — pesticides.

Having been unsuccessful in their attempt to use pseudo science and fear mongering to cause greater regulations and elimination of many chemicals and pesticides. They now will attack through raising doubts about the unknowns.

Buzz words of this new approach are already showing up regularly in media — even EPA reports and documents. Notice the frequent use of “body burden,” “precautionary principle,” “multiple exposure,” “synergistic action,” “any exposure is unsafe,” “children's health,” “additional safety factors for children,” “animal testing not sufficiently predictive,” but “testing on human volunteers is barbaric.”

This approach is more difficult to refute since it is purely psychological. It leads to demands to “wait,” “slow down,” do more and more testing with no end in sight. Raise the cost to prohibit putting a new even safer and better product on the market.

A recent iteration of this tack was the attempt by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to skew the CDC report entitled “National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals.” This report included 116 chemicals some of which were agricultural pesticides.

Samples of urine taken from a random sample of adults and children show presence of most of the 116 compounds at some insignificant level. Compared to a similar report two years ago, which covered some of the same chemicals, most of the so-called persistent pesticides showed up at lower levels.

The EWG sampled nine people and made claims that their test and CDC's showed dangerous levels of toxic chemicals.

Of course, in the enviros' minds any finding at any level is bad. The well known fact that “the dose makes the poison” is conveniently forgotten.

In fact, you will probably soon see touted a new study which casts doubt on this long accepted scientific principle.

We wonder what has happened to the many reputable scientists who know that much of this enviro pseudo science is mostly hogwash.

Can't someone speak out and not cede the floor to extremists?

Ed Duskin is executive vice president of the Southern Crop Protection Association.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.