The Myths of Safe Pesticides


Are We Poisoning Our Food?

“Citing the latest studies, The Myth of Safe Pesticides is a modernized Silent Spring– and just as powerful.  In an amazingly readable and understandable style, Andre Leu makes us all heavyweights in this battle for the future of food and the health of our children.” ~~ Joel Salatin labeled ‘The World’s Most Innovative Farmer’ by Time Magazine

You can thank the fruit fly. In 1996 a new species of fruit fly was discovered in Australia forcing farmers to dip their produce in Fenthion or Dimethoate before sending them to market. André Leu decided to research these pesticides himself before using them. What he discovered was far worse than he ever imagined.

“What I learned,” says Leu, author of the new book The Myths of Safe Pesticides, “is there are many serious data gaps in pesticide regulation and regulators are ignoring a massive body of published science showing the numerous harmful effects of pesticides and using data free assumptions to set the residue levels in food.”

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? When pesticide residues are found in 77 percent of all foods in the United States, it’s important to know the truth.

Organic agriculturist and President of the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements, Leu has weeded through a wealth of respected scientific journals to present peer-reviewed evidence proving 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 safety, refuting them using scientific data.

The Myths of Safe Pesticides reveals the truth behind:

  • The “Rigorously Tested” Myth. Are pesticides tested for safety before going on the market?
  • The “Very Small Amount” Myth. Can even a small amount of chemical residue be harmful?
  • The “Breakdown” Myth. Do pesticides rapidly biodegrade, and are the breakdown products truly harmless?
  • The “Reliable Regulatory Authority” Myth. Do the regulatory authorities review unbiased evidence before declaring a product safe?
  • The “Pesticides Are Essential to Farming” Myth. Are pesticides the only thing keeping our planet from starvation?

“The pesticide industry argues that agriculture, and the global population itself, cannot survive without its products,” adds Leu, “but we are at risk unless we break free of their toxic hold and turn to more natural methods of pest and weed regulation.”

André Leu, President of International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM), the world umbrella body for the organic sector. IFOAM has approximately 800 member organizations in 120 countries around the world. He was the Chair of the Organic Federation of Australia (OFA), the peak body for the Australian Organic sector and Chair of the Far North Queensland Lychee Growers Association. Leu has extensive publications in such outlets as the New Internationalist, The Journal of Organic Systems, Acta Horticulturae, The Journal of the International Society for Horticultural Science, The Australian Organic Journal, American Bamboo Society Journal, Heartwise, Wholly Organic, The Organize Way, The Organic Standard, Ecology and Farming. He and his wife, Julia, own an organic tropical fruit orchard in Daintree, Queensland that supplies quality controlled fruit to local and international markets.