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Are Pesticides Safe? Myths and Truths

A comprehensive report on several thousand studies of genetically engineered crops and foods, and the chemicals such as Monsanto's Roundup that are used with them, is provided by our colleagues at, in an article entitled "GMO Myths and Truths."

This report summarizes the fraudulent claims of the genetic engineering companies that produce the world's GMO crops. It also summarizes the numerous studies by independent scientists, which reveal the alarming toxicity of these crops and the herbicides and pesticides used to grow them.

As if “GMO Myths and Truths” weren’t convincing enough, a recently published book—The Myths of Safe Pesticides—demolishes the agrochemical and GMO industry myths that pesticides are safe, and that the rising epidemic of diet-related human disease and environmental destruction can be controlled and managed by the "business-as-usual" approach of governmental regulatory agencies.

This internationally acclaimed book was written by André Leu, president of the International Federation of Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). In a summary of the book, published in 2014, its publisher, Acres USA, says:

"The chemical-based conventional agricultural industry claims that the synthesized concoctions they sell us as pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides are safe when used as directed, but does the scientific evidence truly support their assertions? When pesticide residues are found in 77 percent of all foods in the United States, it's important to know the truth.

"Organic agriculturalist André Leu has weeded through a wealth of respected scientific journals to present peer-reviewed evidence proving that the claims of chemical companies and pesticide regulators are not all they seem.”

Leu translates technical jargon into layman's terms, and uses scientific data to refute the five most-repeated myths about pesticide safety:

1. The "Rigorously Tested" Myth. Are pesticides tested for safety before they go on the market?

2. The "Very Small Amount" Myth. Can even a small amount of chemical residue be harmful?

3. The "Breakdown" Myth. Do pesticides rapidly degrade, and are the breakdown products truly harmless?

4. The "Reliable Regulatory Authority" Myth. Do the regulatory authorities review unbiased evidence before declaring a product safe?

5. The "Pesticides Are Essential to Farming" Myth. Are pesticides the only thing keeping our planet from starvation?

Learn more about André Leu's book here.

Ronnie Cummins is international director of the Organic Consumers Association and its Mexico affiliate, Via Organica.