Presence of pesticides in the environment, transition into organic food, and implications for quality assurance along the European organic food chain – A review

The use of synthetic pesticides is not allowed in organic production, but traces of synthetic pesticides are regularly detected in organic food. To safeguard the integrity of organic production, organic certifiers are obliged to investigate the causes for pesticide residues on organic food, entailing high costs to the organic sector.

Plant health care in organic farming - The role of natural substances in a biodiversity-based system approach

One of organic agriculture’s defining traits is its approach towards plant health care, relying mainly on preventive and indirect measures within the agroecosystem. As a last resort, organic farmers can combine these with direct measures, if these are based on the use of natural substances. The principles of organic agriculture seek to prevent the introduction of new and alien substances into ecosystems. So, the use of synthetic pesticides is prohibited. More and more European citizens are concerned over synthetic pesticides use.

Studio FIBL: Quale impatto ha la contaminazione ambientale da pesticidi sulla catena alimentare biologica?

Un'analisi del FiBL Svizzera sull'attuale letteratura scientifica ha dimostrato che i pesticidi sono ampiamente presenti nel suolo, nell'acqua e nell'aria e hanno il potenziale di contaminare i prodotti biologici. Queste vie di contaminazione devono essere tenute in considerazione quando si indaga sulla presenza di residui di pesticidi.

Organic sugar beet production and robotics use in France

Sugar beet cultivation is chemical-intensive. In 2017, the average number of pesticide treatments received by sugar beet crops in France was between five and six — which is more than most other crops (Agreste, 2019). Sugar beets need to be protected from weeds competing for resources and diseases transmitted by aphids; for example, the beet yellows virus. For this purpose, the sugar beet sector has had to rely extensively on neonicotinoid insecticides, which are often used in seed coating to prevent virus transmission.

How pesticides impact human health and ecosystems in Europe

Food production systems in Europe rely on chemical pesticides to maintain crop yields. However, widespread pesticide use is a major source of pollution — contaminating water, soil and air, driving biodiversity loss, and leading to pest resistance. Human exposure to chemical pesticides is linked to chronic illnesses such as cancer, and heart, respiratory and neurological diseases.

Toxicological Comparison of Pesticide Active Substances Approved for Conventional vs. Organic Agriculture in Europe

There is much debate about whether the (mostly synthetic) pesticide active substances (AS) in conventional agriculture have different non-target effects than the natural AS in organic agriculture. We evaluated the official EU pesticide database to compare 256 AS that may only be used on conventional farmland with 134 AS that are permitted on organic farmland.

Organic Farming Lessens Reliance on Pesticides and Promotes Public Health by Lowering Dietary Risks

Organic agriculture is a production system that relies on prevention, ecological processes, biodiversity, mechanical processes, and natural cycles to control pests and maintain productivity. Pesticide use is generally limited or absent in organic agroecosystems, in contrast with non-organic (conventional) production systems that primarily rely on pesticides for crop protection.

Organophosphorus pesticide exposure of urban and suburban preschool children with organic and conventional diets

We assessed organophosphorus (OP) pesticide exposure from diet by biological monitoring among Seattle, Washington, preschool children. Parents kept food diaries for 3 days before urine collection, and they distinguished organic and conventional foods based on label information. Children were then classified as having consumed either organic or conventional diets based on analysis of the diary data. Residential pesticide use was also recorded for each home.