Newsflash, foodies: Organic crops use carcinogenic pesticides

Image via Flickr

The organic food industry spends billions of dollars through different organizations, subtly using fear and panic as tactics to sell their products. However, it turns out their actual practices may be a foodie’s worst nightmare.

While the organic food industry sinks a lot of money into spreading fear, uncertainty, and distrust toward Monsanto and GMOs, they themselves are utilizing large quantities of proven carcinogenic (cancer-causing) pesticides to grow their alleged superior products. The organic food industry, which is worth roughly four times as much as Monsanto ($65 billion), owes its brand to this facade.

From The Farm Babe:

Below is a list of Organic substances which are far more toxic than anything you’ll see on a GMO (which is why about 90% of certain crop farmers grow GMOs; they are far better for the environment). The full list of permitted organic substances can be found on the EPA’s website.


Image: EPA

Originally, no one thought to check the potential harmful effects of natural chemicals, like organic pesticides. Even after studies were done showing roughly half of the commonly used organic pesticides to be carcinogenic, the organic industry still continues to use them.

This is not due to overarching corporate evil, but because these chemicals are only harmful to humans if ingested directly at high doses. Farmers spray minimal amounts on crops, only if necessary. In order for the minimal amount of chemicals sprayed on a crop to negatively effect your health, you would need to consume tons of it a day. This also applies to GMO crops.

Our food is safe, and if you read an article revolving around instilling fear, it is important to consider the source. What is their angle? Where is this information coming from? All of these are important questions to consider when encountering arguments for and against GMOs.




  1. Avatar


    February 19, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Farm Babe,
    Your general point is good – almost all chemicals are toxic at some dose, but what gets used in agriculture is regulated to prevent any meaningful risk to consumers. However your statement that “originally no one thought to check” natural materials isn’t really accurate. Many of the most toxic things known are natural (aflatoxin, fumonisin, cyanide…) so all “natural product” based pesticides have had required testing for decades.

  2. Avatar

    Richard Ewald

    February 19, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    The USDA uses “multi-residues methods (MRMs) with which it is possible to simultaneously test for 2-300 different synthetic pesticides in a single analysis run. However, because of solubility issues and detection technology differences, many organic-approved pesticides cannot be extracted or measured by the same protocol.”

    So, no, they aren’t tested for.

    “So, bottom line, we still have no real data about the most likely pesticide residues that occur on organic crops and we are unlikely to get any.”


  3. Avatar

    A Science Enthusiast

    February 20, 2016 at 12:01 am

    Isadora, you missed the point of my friend Michelle’s article. The point of her article is that organic companies use fear to try to convince people to buy their products. Both conventional and organics are safe, but organics don’t want you to believe that is the case. I’m fairly disappointed in how you distorted her words here.

    The original article (which your website basically stole and re-hosted for yourselves) is on my website at: http://ascienceenthusiast.com/organic-crops-use-carcinogenic-pesticides

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