Why does organic fruit have no worms?

- oo -oo at spambusters.com
Tue Jun 27 12:25:12 EST 2000

Even under the most restrictive "organic" standards, such as Oregon's,
some pesticides are acceptable.

Pyrethrins, for example, are highly toxic to humans, but are
considered organic because they are of "botanical" origin. In this
case it's considered righteous to use the plant-based poisons, but not
safer, manufactured alternatives. 

Other, much less toxic, pesticides are very effective against worms
and are widely used by organic growers. Bt-toxin is probably the best
control measure, in its effectiveness, its safety and its
environmental impacts. It's a naturally occuring protein from bacteria
that is an effective control against larval stages of moths (worms, if
you will). It is safe for humans and  "organic" but it is also an
expensive control measure. That's part of the reason you pay more for
oganic produce.

FWIW, the Bt toxin is what is "engineered" into Monsanto's corn to
make it resistant to corn borer. Is that really any different from
spraying Bt-toxin on apple trees?

On Wed, 21 Jun 2000 23:57:10 +0200, "Andries du Toit"
<moc.acirfai at ecneserp> wrote:

>> My understanding of organic is that no pesticides are used, yet I cannot
>> help but notice that these fruits have no worms.   What techniques are
>> in organic farming to prevent insect damage to the fruit?
>Well, a lot of organic fruit DOES have worms - you just don't see it in the
>shops.  Typically one of the big consequences of farming organically is that
>your packout goes way down, and a lot more fruit has to go for juice.
>There are also other ways of fighting bugs than through spraying pesticides
>on the fruit itself
>- one farmer who has not sprayed in 45 years tells me he has no pests in his
>orchards because his trees are in dominant health. Interesting.
>- many farmers use natural predtors (big fleas have little fleas, remember?)
>and introduce insects that eat the insects that attack the fruit
>- pheromones can be used to disrupt mating patterns and depress pest
>- pesticides can be smeared on the bark of trees
>- climate counts for a lot. In some climates, you have to spray more than in
>The field of "integrated pest management" is a booming one and you can do
>amazing things without recourse to pyrethroids.    What is organic and what
>is not organic is a matter of debate.  In my view there's a lot of perfectly
>harmless practices that are proscribed under "organic"certification; while
>there are aspects of "organic" farming that can also be harmful.
>Also remember that the real challenge of organic farming also lies in the
>prohibition of artificial fertilisers, even in the form of open hydroponics.
>A lay person
>> --
>> Will
>> NOTE:   To reply, CHANGE the username to westes AT uscsw.com

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