Pesticides: Economic nonsense?

2016-03-25 to 2016-03-25

Paris, France

The cost of pesticides may far outweigh their benefits, according to the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), which has conducted a study on the external costs of these products. EurActiv’s partner Journal de l’Environnement reports.
The news will not please advocates of conventional agriculture, many of whom tend to admit that pesticides do cause damage to human health and the environment, but who tend to argue that this is more than balanced out by the benefits they bring. But INRA researchers Denis Bourguet and Thomas Guillemaud have found evidence that the costs my significantly outweigh the benefits.
Published in the Sustainable Agriculture Review, their study examined data from 61 scientific publications. The researchers analysed four types of cost: regulatory (decontamination, surveillance, etc.), human health, environmental and defensive. This last category includes “the extra cost of the part of organic food consumption due to aversive behaviour linked to pesticide use”.

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