Book review: The Myths of Safe Pesticides by André Leu

Book Details:

Book Title: The Myths of Safe Pesticides by André Leu
Category:  Adult Non Fiction,  168  pages
Genre:   Educational / Nature / Science
Publisher:  Acres USA
Release date:  September 15, 2014
Format available for review:  print & ebook (PDF)
Will send print books to: USA & Canada
Tour dates: March 12 to April 13, 2018
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

​The chemical-based conventional agriculture industry claims that the synthesized concoctions they sell as pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides are safe when used as directed, but does the scientific evidence truly support their assertions? Organic agriculturist and lecturer André Leu delves into a wealth of respected scientific journals to present the peer-reviewed evidence that proves the claims of chemical companies and pesticide regulators are not all they seem.

Leu translates technical jargon into layman’s terms to break down the five most repeated myths about pesticide use: independent scientific analysis shows that pesticides are not at all as safe as industry leaders and regulatory agencies claim. The pesticide industry argues that human agriculture, and thereby the global population itself, cannot survive without using pesticides and herbicides, but Leu warns that human health is at great risk unless we break free of their toxic hold and turn to more natural methods of pest and weed regulation.

Learn about:

  • The “Rigorously Tested” Myth
  • The “Very Small Amount” Myth
  • The “Breakdown” Myth
  • The “Reliable Regulatory Authority” Myth
  • The “Pesticides Are Essential to Farming” Myth

Andre Leu

Meet the Author:

André Leu is a longtime organic farmer in Australia and a director of Regeneration International. He served as president of IFOAM Organics International from 2011 to 2017. He speaks widely and regularly testifies to governments and NGOs worldwide on pesticide safety and policy. He is the author of the award-winning book, The Myths of Safe Pesticides.

Connect with the publisher:  Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Author’s Twitter

REVIEW:
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Andre Leu’s extensive research led to this incredibly detailed book about  pesticides and how we can be better informed when making decisions about what we should eat and feed our families.
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Some of the things he expounds on are:
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– Myth:  Pesticides are essential to farming;
– Myth:  Most pesticide formulations sold on the market are rigorously tested;
– Myth:  The very small amount;
– Myth:  The breakdown myth; and
– Myth:  The reliable regulatory myth.
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One of the things I learned is that once a chemical degrades, it is not harmless.  Research has shown than many of the metabolites from agricultural poisons can cause heath and reproductive problems.  Some pesticides such as diazinon, malathion, chlorpyrifos and dimethoate become even more toxic when they break down.
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We often think that, when we wash our food we are removing all of the pesticides.  Dimethoate (widely used as a fruit fly treatment) is a systemic pesticide because it is absorbed into all the tissues of the plant, including the edible portions such as the flesh of the fruit.  Washing our food will not remove the bulk of the poison, which is inside the food.  It breaks down into an even more toxic metabolite called omethoate.
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Complete with charts, graphs and illustrations, this book makes this complicated subject more easily understood by the layman.  It’s quite a vigorous read but the book is divided into the five main “myth” sections which makes it easier to absorb.
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The author’s final word:
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The lack of rigorous testing and the blatant disregard of the current science by regulators means that, until these data gaps are filled, the most logical option is to avoid food from farming systems that use these toxic compounds.”
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Simply put, there are no safe pesticides in any amount.  You may want to read the author’s newest guide:  “Poisoning Our Children: The Parent’s Guide to the Myths of Safe Pesticides”.
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