Is it dangerous not to use pesticides?

Marion Nestle:  Well I think anybody who has ever farmed is aware that there are pests.  And sometimes there are a lot of pests and they’re very hard to control.  And it isn’t that organic foods are produced without pesticides.  They are produced with pesticides.  It’s just that they’re ones that are less harmful to the environment.  They don’t last as long.  They’re biodegradable.  They’re not as toxic.  They’re not as harmful.  And that’s why the list of what’s allowed and what’s not allowed is so important and so deeply fought over.  I think what has been shown is that organic producers are able, with the tools they have available, to make their fields almost as productive – certainly within 10 percent of the productivity of conventional fields.  It’s done in a way that’s more labor intensive.  That’s why organic foods cost more.

Organic food is produced with pesticides, too, Nestle says.

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Image: Pew Research Center
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