Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rethinking Pesticides (a little)

Organic food has always seemed silly to me. All of the legitimate research I have found regarding the dangers to pesticides (applied and regulated as it is in the U.S.) suggests that, generally, there are no dangers from pesticides. At most, twenty people per year may die due to pesticide use. All things considered, that twenty is no different from zero.

Yet a recent paper suggests that in Brazil, the costs of acute pesticide poisoning may be as large as 64% of the benefits!

Soares and Porto, Estimating the Social Cost of Pesticide Use..., Ecological Economics, in press.