Are pesticides evil, or awesome?

Are pesticides helpful things that allow us to produce more food, and keep us safe from deadly diseases? Or are they dangerous things that kill animals and could possibly be hurting us in ways we haven't even totally figured out just yet?

Actually, they're both.

This week, scientists released a research paper looking at the health benefits (or lack thereof) of organic food—a category which largely exists as a response to pesticide use in agriculture. Meanwhile, Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring, which forced Americans to really think about the health impacts of pesticides for the first time, was published 50 years ago this month.

The juxtaposition really drove home a key point: We're still trying to figure out how to balance benefits and risks when it comes to technology. That's because there's no easy, one-size-fits-all answer. Should we use pesticides, or should we not use them? The data we look at is objective but the answer is, frankly, subjective. It also depends on a wide variety of factors: what specific pesticide are we talking about; where is it being used and how is it being applied; what have we done to educate the people who are applying it in proper, safe usage. It's complicated. And it's not just about how well the tools work. It's also about how we used them.

“It is not my contention,” Carson wrote in Silent Spring, “that chemical insecticides must never be used. I do contend that we have put poisonous and biologically potent chemicals indiscriminately into the hands of persons largely or wholly ignorant of their potentials for harm. We have subjected enormous numbers of people to contact with these poisons, without their consent and often without their knowledge.”

You can see why this isn't an easy issue. It's legitimate to be concerned about how pesticides affect biodiversity. It's also legitimate to be concerned about having access to the tools we need to protect people from malaria. At some point, you have to make a decision, but you're fooling yourself if you think that decision is clear-cut.

The situation gets doubly confusing when you start adding in the fact that we don't actually have a lot of great data on the human health impacts of pesticides. In fact, we might never have good data on that.

Xeni had a nice write up on the organic food paper earlier this week, but I'd also recommend reading the story that Emily Sohn wrote at Discovery News. The organic food study you read about this week was actually a review paper—a study of studies. Scientists looked at hundreds of research papers comparing organic and conventional food and tried to use that data to figure out what we do and don't know in the big picture. Studies like this are a lot more meaningful than single papers alone, but it also means there's a ton of stuff going on and understanding it all gets very confusing very quickly. Sohn does a really nice job of breaking down the details of the paper and she digs into the key problem: We don't have enough evidence to answer the questions that really matter.

Only 17 studies compared groups of people eating different diets, and most showed no difference on measures like sperm motility, levels of fatty acids in breast milk or antioxidant levels in blood.

“We evaluated just under 6,000 potentially relevant articles…and identified 17 studies that looked at people eating diets that were organic or conventional,” said Dena Bravata, a general internist and health researcher at Stanford University and Castlight Health in San Francisco. “Here’s this gigantic industry and there have been 17 studies. To highlight the paucity of evidence that really directly answers the question we had, I think that’s interesting.”

Together, the results are too inconclusive and disparate to draw any major conclusions, said Betsy Wattenberg, a toxicologist at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

In order to really know anything about food-related risks that people tend to care most about, such as cancer or reproductive and developmental health issues, we would need carefully controlled studies that last for years or even decades.

Those kinds of studies don’t exist, and they are likely impossible to do.

Read Emily Sohn's full article on the organic food study

Read a retrospective on Rachel Carson's work written by William Souder at Slate

Image: A soldier sprays a mixture of DDT and kerosene in an Italian home. Spraying like this helped to drastically reduce malaria in Italy. Otis Historical Archives National Museum of Health and Medicine.


  1. Wait, why are longitudinal studies that study the impact of pesticides in your diet to your health likely impossible?

    No doubt, they are hard but so is curing cancer and someone is always raising money to do that.

    1. This reminds me of the lack of studies about the positive impact of vitamin supplements on health.  A multimillion dollar industry and nobody can ever find a couple million dollars to show the things work.   50 years of cancer and cancer treatment and ….   Turns out organic bananas aren’t more nutritious…

        1. There are even studies showing that water supplementation is quite bad for you!  I think the technical term is “drowning.” ;)

          But seriously, there are certainly studies showing that mega-dose beta-carotene increases lung cancer risk in smokers, mega-dose vitamin E increases brain hemorrage risk in neonates with retinopathy of prematurity, mega-dose vitamin A is teratogenic, etc.  The dose makes the poison – which is also one of Maggie’s points.

    2. Perhaps she means that randomized controlled trials of cause-effect are impossible because you would have to randomly assign one group of people to eat pesticides and feed another group of people pesticide-free diets.  Observational studies of pesticide levels in urine or body fat versus health outcomes have been done and are ongoing.

      1. Sure, but it just means you need population data and weighted sample sample selection.   Which isn’t impossible, just expensive.  Controlled trials with factors likely to cause negative impact on participants are ethically challenging across many fields particularly in longitudinal studies are called for.  Impossible just seemed like a bad excuse after an article featuring bad data and an inaccurate headline.

    3.  The problem is assigning humans to randomized groups for 40+ years restricting their food intake to a specific kind of food, with absolutely no cross-over, change in diet, and ideally with it still being a blind study. From birth, and for two generations, so you get at least one generation born from a mother with no pesticide exposure that you can then raise 50/50 without pesticide exposure and with pesticide exposure.

      So, good luck with that. Humans don’t put up with that sort of treatment.

      1.  Yeah, there are these things called elections and campaigns need to know how messages effect peoples opinions.  When asked if they could lock two groups in a media vacuum lab, create controls and test campaign scenarios on people for months at a time, they were told it was “IMPOSSIBLE!”  so then everybody just gave up and just said random stupid things…..

        No, they freakin developed polling and random sampling for opinion research!  And it Works!

        Jerril, Science…  Science, Jerril.

        1. No, they freakin developed polling and random sampling for opinion research! And it Works!

          Testing for long-term toxicity and carcinogenicity by opinion polls? What a brilliant idea.

  2. If I remember correctly, one of DDT’s successes was that it was a low-toxicity (to humans) insecticide that was highly effective against bedbugs….

      1. Granted. That’s still better than some of the alternatives.

        Yeah, I know, DDT’s real problem is persistence. I’m not making excuses for it, just pointing out that, like other pesticides, it came into use because there were legitimate applications, and that the applications still exist.

        1. I agree. I think that DDT should still be available to licensed exterminators to be used solely for fighting bedbug infestations -and possibly in developing nations to combat Malaria.

  3. I believe we should take care when comparing approaches and outcomes.  Bringing Rachael Carson into the discussion is good, but it should be noted for those who aren’t familiar with her work that Carson was writing at a period in time when unchecked pesticide and chemical use and exposure were widespread and led essentially to mass poisonings of both people and the environment. Regulation and formula changes have reduced the damage to a large extent, but the pesticide industry is not static; the toxins must be constantly reformulated to maintain efficacy, this issue is a consistently evolving and moving target so vigilance is always necessary. 

     A lack of data shows (as pointed out) that our understanding is not clear cut, but that in no way should imply safety or lack thereof for that matter. Some may read the lack of data or findings as proof of safety, and that clearly isn’t the proper interpretation.

  4. At the risk of incurring web-wrath, I think public opinion on chemicals has become an entrenched battle of extremes rather than one based on good science. We freak out about what we don’t know: in some cases, the science is lacking, so staying away from those pesticides, etc. seems prudent; in other cases, the science is solid, yet people still freak out because they themselves remain uninformed. From vaccines to autism to “genetically modified” foods (practically everything we eat has been genetically modified, in some cases over centuries), we too often guide our decisions based on personal philosophies (chemicals bad!, or chemicals are progress!) developed by gut instinct or sound bites instead of real information. 

    The image above touches on a great example: we placed too much trust in DDT in a heady era of new chemical development before we really understood its impact, with devastating results. We now know that judicious application of DDT poses much less of a problem and could save countless lives from malaria, but we can’t get over our reflexive no-no attitude about it. Science tells us we should be somewhere in the middle, whereas we insist on exploring the extremes.I don’t think anyone should trust blindly in science, but a little scientific literacy goes a long way, and I lament the state of science education almost everywhere. To think of the modern horrors we could minimize or even eliminate through better understanding. Like Lotto.

    1.  I think public opinion on chemicals has become an entrenched battle of extremes rather than one based on good science.

      Actually, in this corner of the web, I’d like to think your reasonable position would be generally agreed with. 

    2. I agree. But I think that a big part of the reason for that is exactly the discussion here, not as much good science as we need and more money going into chemical development than testing the safety  of the chemicals we currently use.

      So this isn’t like global warming denial, where folks are choosing magical thinking over hard facts.   This is more about lack of trust after past failures, and current spin.  Every group has a few folks that embrace the woo, but sometimes a non-nuanced view of something is based on real lack of clarity, and good reasons to demand real clarity.

    3. I wouldn’t dismiss the risks of genetically engineered plants in the same breath as the nonexistent vaccine-autism link.

      The stuff about vaccines causing autism was based on a fraudulent scientific paper, since withdrawn by the publisher.

      Potential problems with genetically engineered foods are not in the same class at all.  Selective breeding is recombining existing genes from living organisms.  Genetic engineering is putting novel DNA into an organism, perhaps DNA from a different species entirely.  The first has been vetted by evolution.  The second produces a new organism never before exposed to the pressures of natural selection.  Those are not equivalent, just because the intentionally vague phrase “genetic modification” happens to apply to both.

      Even if genetic engineering doesn’t produce a new pest plant or a new disease-causing microorganism, it has social side effects that make it objectionable in context.  Witness Monsanto’s patenting of DNA sequences, and then suing farmers who save and replant the patented seed.  Witness the genetically engineered herbicide-resistant crop plants, which will in turn enable even more chemical application to fields than exists today.

      Don’t know if the above qualifies as proper web-wrath or not.  I just want to point out that not everyone who opposes a particular technology, is opposed for purely emotional reasons.  Lots of us are as fact-driven as you say you are.

      1. Yes the stuff about vaccines was a fraudulent paper that was withdrawn.  But when you start digging down into the anti-GMO research you find papers that never made it through peer review and for good reason.  There is one that only used 6 rats to test for 5 variables. Another that used 6 groups of 5 rats to test for 5 variables but inbred the rats so the groups become a single datum.  How do you get statistically significant data from that? A paper that gets cited as being in the Lancet but in reality was just a letter that was eviscerated by other letters in the same issue.  Basically there is a lot of junk science that exists in that same interstitial space that the vaccine paper did before it’s withdrawal.

  5. Amazing that he’s smoking a pipe while he sprays kerosene. The kid is right to be afraid, even without the DDT.

    1. Little known fact – that guy’s daughter lit a cigarette at an Esso station in the early 1960’s and the resulting explosion led to those little signs about not smoking while pumping gas.  The mother was quoted as saying, “What’s the big deal?  My husband did it all the time in the War, God rest his soul.”  :))

      I’ve seen this photograph a few times, and I always wondered why the photographer posed a screaming baby on a well-made bed to illustrate this immensely-successful spraying program.  Parts of post-war Italy were closer to Medieval conditions than to current developing world conditions (I have worked in a few).  I wish I could find an easy link for it, but the public health impact of the spraying program was amazing.

        1.  Which points out the problem with a lot of the health-food claims. Natural does not necessarily mean healthy, or even benign.

          BTW, plants brew up nicotine and caffeine as insecticides. Overstimulate the little buggers to death. It just happens that homo sap, with our much larger body mass, likes being partly intoxicated…

          1.  We’re also pretty good at metabolizing toxins; primates in general are, due to being opportunists. Just ask your cat about theobromide.

  6. The article said that they couldn’t find any added benefits to eating organic food, not realizing that its not about addition, its about subtraction.

    People eat organic foods, eat raw whole milk and cheeses, or like to get free range chicken not for what is added, but instead for what isn’t added, viz: every kind of “cides”, antibiotics, growth hormones and denatured proteins that end up sticking to the food that nobody’s body can process or ignore.

    Making things grow unnaturally is how cancers operate. Its called metastasis. (Think of that next time you bite into a processed-all-to-Hell and back McNugget or beef patty…)

    Killing things through the use of an antibiotic agent doesn’t stop killing things just ’cause its picked. (Rinsing wont get rid of Round Up Ready™ anything because it baked into the genes. Its doesn’t even have to go that far. Peels are permeable. They are porous integument and let nutrients and air [and pesticides, fungicides etc.] through to the underlying flesh.)

    If something kills bugs/fungi/whatever, what makes you think it wont kill you!

    Lethality is just a matter of dosage and its controlled by the simple formula: sum of concentration divided by time, where sum is the sum of the residue which accumulates in our adipose tissue until is reaches the undesired toxicity.

    Eventually, it hits the right dosage for anybody and everybody.

    The again, maybe Cargill, DuPont de Neimours, Grissol, Merck, Monsanto and all the rest of the oligarchs know exactly what this has done to us all and are laughing all the way to the bank, (all of whom own large private farms by the way, [you’ve never had real vegetables in New York City until you have eaten some from the Rockefeller estate.])

    1.  Huh.

      “If something kills bugs/fungi/whatever, what makes you think it wont kill you!”

      Chocolate kills dogs…so…do you ever eat chocolate? Do you offer it to children? Even strangers’ kids at Halloween?? OH NOEZ!!1!!!

      1. It takes a lot of Chocolate to kill a dog.  probably enough to make a kid pretty sick.  But we aren’t talking about 2 mammals when discussing pesticides, so you point holds,

        1. Yup, my dog ate a 2-pound bag of chocolate chips once.  Didn’t kill him, just made him hyper as hell.  He got out and ran about 10 miles in circles.

    2. “If something kills bugs/fungi/whatever, what makes you think it wont kill you!”

      A fundamental knowledge of biology and chemistry and the ability to avoid making assumptions when I don’t know the answer to a question.  What makes you think it will kill you?

      1.  “Round Up Ready” just means the plant has an ability to resist that herbicide. That isn’t a direct problem with the produce. It *may* be an issue if that ability spreads to weeds, or if it encourages farmers to overuse the herbicide, but neither of those shows up on your table.

        If you’re going to object, object for the right reasons.

        1.  Exunctly. The issue when spreading to weeds isn’t that everything will be leaking Roundup poisoning the everything, it’s that weeds will be Roundup resistant.

          Which, if you aren’t using Roundup (it’s illegal for private citizens here, frex), doesn’t make no never mind. The ragweed can be as Roundup resistant as it wants, I’m still going to be killing it with that little butane torch :P

        2. I believe it has a secondary synthesis pathway for amino acids so that when the enzyme is blocked by the glyphosate the basic chemical processes within the plant still function.

    3. If something kills bugs/fungi/whatever, what makes you think it wont kill you!

      In the case of fungi, usually that I don’t have cell walls and have different metabolic pathways. In the case of insects, that I’m warm-blooded and have different neurotransmitters and receptors.

      Chemicals can be very hard to predict, but they aren’t magic. They interact with different natural processes, and with enough work, you can find ones that affect some processes much more than others.

      Processes in most bacteria are very different from us, so it was relatively easy to find antibiotics that single them out; in cancer they’re nearly the same, so chemotherapy causes lots of collateral damage. Pesticides are somewhere in the middle…hence the difficulty explained in the article.

      I agree, though, the distorting effect companies like Monsanto have on all this is very dangerous. The sooner we can weigh decisions without them pulling over the scales, the better.

      1. Processes in most bacteria are very different from us, so it was relatively easy to find antibiotics that single them out

        But we’re not really Homo sapiens / primates / mammals so much as we’re ecosystems consisting of a Homo Sapiens structure containing a whole lot of microorganisms whose interactions are not entirely understood.

  7. A friend said how as a child they never saw an osprey even in a coastal where they are now abundant.  DDT was going to kill off the bald eagle and the pelican.  And the ironic thing is that it wasn’t even coming close to driving mosquitoes to extinction. It’s like having a deer hunter wandering into your yard and shooting your dog and your lawn mower, and then trying to claim he just did you a favor. 

  8. Well for what it’s worth, I’ve been working as a pest control professional for just over nine years now, my brother for ten years and my father for thirty five years. Between us we know hundreds of other pest control professionals who are all exposed to many, many times the pesticides that the average person is exposed to, in both quantity and variety, all of whom are perfectly healthy. 
    There are spills, equipment malfunctions, car accidents (while transporting finished solutions) and, of course, incompetence; all of which can lead to dangerous exposure if it is not dealt with immediately. So far, I’ve been sprayed in the face (accidentally) by a co-worker, had equipment explode (literally) under a house and drench me in pesticide, had a faulty nozzle get stuck and shoot pesticide at 300 psi that danced around like a snake, drenching myself as well as several co-workers, and we’re all okay.  I agree with GertaLives about how everyone is concentrating on the extremes. Some of my customers seem to believe that one tiny drop of pesticide will cause significant harm to themselves or their loved ones and then there are those who couldn’t care less how we spray or what we treat with. I think both of these perspectives are wrong and more effort should be put toward educating the masses on what pesticides are and how they actually work. 

    P.S. I am aware that this is entirely anecdotal. :)

    1. Seriously, thank you for your post.  It is anecdotal in terms of data, but, more importantly, it also is from someone who puts their hands on these chemicals every day to help other people.  How you see your work and feel about the chemicals your work with everyday is a significant and important contribution to this discussion.

      Again, thanks!

  9. DDT ban was a mistake, and the ones that died of Malaria in Africa did so because of fears about potential -yet not proven- long term effects in the West.
    For me it is the prime example how the develeoped world can do great harm based on the purest and goodest of intentions.
    So I agree it can’t be black and white on these issues.

    1. Insects started developing resistance to DDT so taking the angle that the ban was not only a Luddite action but a quasi racist one is a stretch at best.

    2. That comment is the equivalent of a picket sign: strident and completely devoid of analysis.

      1. I have seen people die from Malaria so maybe I am not neutral on the issue.
        But it should also be very clear (because I wrote it) that I agree with Maggie’s take that it is not a clear cut issue.

        It all depends on your perspective. So yes to locally lift the ban on DDT was the right and pragmatic approach. And yes of course larvae are getting resistant. New questions are waiting for new answers.
        “The Mail never stops…”

        1. Stephan: go, get the red herring.

          FYI, I have seen people dying of malaria, I also had malaria more than once, and I worked in several countries in Africa and elsewhere where DDT is used. Once, I returned to my hotel room to find it locked, and with a sign that I should wait before going in because it was sprayed with DDT that morning. My luggage was inside, they just put it under the table so ‘it would not get sprayed’.

          And now, to troll-rant on my own: I saw even more people dying from malaria (and other f*cking avoidable things) because of resistances to antibiotics and antipaludisms. No way any pesticide will stop the vectors, and treatments will stop the maladies, as long as people are kept illiterate, uniformed, and additional are behaving stupid out of their f*cking own free will.

          Oh my, this always gets me overexcited.

    3. I won’t argue with you about malaria being a huge problem. But FWIW, DDT is still legal and available in Ethiopia (for one) and they have a bad malaria problem.

  10. If you want to add nuance to the debate, lets look at “pesticides” themselves.  The assumption here, it would seem, is that it has to be chemical or nothing at all.  I’d like to direct your attention to Paul Stamets, mycologist extraordinaire and all-around bad-ass motherfucker:

    Paul Stamets at TEDMED 2011

    Skip to around 4:33 if you want to see the “relevant” bit (though, the whole speech is more than worth the watch).  In a nutshell, he has cultivated a mushroom (Cordyceps) that insects normally avoid because the spores are infectious to them and morphed it into a pre-sporulating super-attractant mycelium which was just as deadly.  In other words, an “organic” pesticide in every sense of the world – with no shitty toxic pollutants dispersing into the atmosphere, settling into the soil, washing into waterways, and/or being absorbed into the body of organisms throughout the ecosystem.

    For another take on it, check out his speech here (it’s a longer one, but also worth it):

    Paul Stamets at Bioneers (2011)

    (around 18:26 for the insect bit on this one…covers same basic stuff, but goes a little more in-depth…be sure to watch all the way to the end)

    Point is, maybe there needs to be a paradigm shift in “pesticides” – towards, as Paul Stamets calls it, “an ecologically rational way, not using chemical pesticides.”  He even talks about the ability of reducing an insect’s “pathogenic payload” without killing them, further limiting a potential disruption of the ecology (both points discussed in the second clip).  

    It seems to me we should be looking to Nature for more of these types of solutions.

    1.  I find calling the toxic spores a happy bunny-touching alternative to “chemical” pesticides disingenuous at best. I’m ragingly allergic to a whole host of spores, which of course colours my opinions on this one… but infectious agents are harder to control than chemical ones.

      At least chemical agents don’t reproduce and evolve.

      1. Did you even watch the videos?  Admittedly, I goofed up on describing the process (which I have since edited – thanks for pointing it out).  He has actually cultivated the mycelium to a pre-sporulating state, which is why the insects were attracted to them (since it was the spores that repelled them).  Watch the second video, especially.  Certain Cordyceps mushrooms, while toxic to insects, have also been used medicinally by humans (again, watch 2nd video).  He also found that the pre-sporulating mycelium “pesticide” doesn’t harm bees at all.  Again, Paul covers it thoroughly.

        And chemical agents can certainly evolve pesticide-resistant bugs that go on to reproduce, which can become an even larger threat to people and crops.  And they have the added benefit of getting into waterways, soil, the atmosphere, etc…

    2. I think this reveals part of the problem. What Stamets is doing is great, but he is still working with chemicals. The mycelium is entirely composed of chemicals. The extracts are entirely composed of chemicals. Therefore he is using chemical pesticides. They are just naturally occurring chemical pesticides. So why the displeasure with chemicals?

      I know. I know. It’s the synthetic chemicals and I’m being a semantic pedant. However, I think the laziness of the phrasing is part of the larger problem of viewing all of this in black and white.

      -written by a giant chemical bag filled with other chemicals in various states.

  11. Unfortunately the current population dictates that we use pesticides. If every crop producer ceased using pesticides, a very large portion of the world’s population would starve. I think it is morally dubious to support a method of production that significantly reduces the output of food as starvation continues to devestate the world’s poorest.

  12. My motivation for eating organic has generally been out of concern for water pollution than my own accumulation of toxins, just like my recycling motivation.

  13. Two things:

    Isn’t the underlying science  of Silent Spring now established to be somewhat spotty?

    And doesn’t refraining from spraying plants with pesticides simply cause the plants to produce more of their own natural (and less effective) pesticides internally – ones that are not so easily washed off, and that are chemically similar to synthetic pesticides?

  14. What makes me so sad, is that a “study” like this one is not a study in of itself, but a synthesis put through some funny statistics.  The fact that one of these guys is coming from Big Tobacco to blast Organics… follow the money folks, this isn’t science, it’s propaganda for profit.  Here’s one of the best researched critiques I’ve found so far about the NYTimes and that Stanford (Cargill) study: 

    1. Actually, Roscoe, reviews are often a better way for the public to learn about an issue than individual studies are. Reviews compare the data from hundreds of different individual studies. If you want to know the gist on what we know, that’s a hell of a lot more valuable than the results of a single study. 

      It also helps because reviews look at a broad swath of studies, so it’s not as easy to game “the big picture” by only talking about the studies that happen to agree with your position (which is something I’ve seen Nature News do multiple times, although I haven’t read this specific link). 

      Coverage of this study sucks a lot. But your idea that review papers are less valid than individual studies is bunk. 

      1. Maggie, I suggest you watch this:

        Ben Goldacre at TEDMED 2012

        The authors of the “meta-analysis” themselves themselves even admitted that they were basing their findings on selective data (and even being selective within that selective data).  The authors also admitted to looking “specifically” at vitamins A, C and E.  Last I checked, there was a whole freaking host of vitamins and minerals in foods, guess they’re just not important.  That’s not to mention micronutrients, or anti-inflammatory properties, or anti-oxidants, or a whole host of other shit that we probably haven’t measured, compared, or even thought of yet.

        And they conveniently ignored the of studies referenced here:

        In addition, Mother Earth News collected samples from 14 pastured flocks across the country (some from farmer Joel Salatin) and had them tested at an accredited laboratory.  The results were compared to official US Department of Agriculture data for commercial eggs.  Results showed the pastured eggs contained:

        1/3 less cholesterol than commercial eggs
        1/4 less saturated fat
        2/3 more vitamin A
        2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
        7 times more beta carotene 

        Guess that didn’t make the cut!  Not “scientific” enough, I suppose.  Oh, I remember them off-the-cuff mentioning how pastured eggs might have a little more omega-3, but that’s all, really.  Great due diligence!

        Not at all to mention the fact that “conventional” farming – including heavy pesticide use – destroys soil.  In the United States alone, it’s at a pace of 10x more the replenishing rate:

        ‘Slow, insidious’ soil erosion threatens human health

        And all those synthetic pollutants in the atmosphere, in the soil, and being washed into the waterways does affect our health and make us sicker.  So, yes, “organic” foods (though that word covers a broad spectrum of “methods”…the best among actively building/growing the soil) do have more health benefits – especially when you look at the greater picture.

        Meanwhile, more pesticide resistant superworms and superweeds!

        ‘Mounting Evidence’ of Bug-Resistant Corn Seen by EPA 

        It’s a flawed meta-study (with, apparently, unscrupulous ties to the biotech industry) based on other flawed and selective studies:

        5 Ways the Stanford Study Sells Organics Short

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