How Industrial Agriculture Damages our Environment
From Greenpeace International on ISSUU:
“Europe’s dependency on chemical pesticides is nothing short of an addiction. Crops are routinely doused with a variety of chemicals, usually applied multiple times to single crops throughout the whole growing season. Industrial agriculture, with its heavy use of chemical pesticides, pollutes our water and soil and leads to loss of habitats and biodiversity.”
Greenpeace International.org have made recommendations to fix this serious problem; such as:
Only by reducing pesticide use and ultimately converting farming systems to ecological farming practices will it be possible to address the ecological and economic problems that agriculture currently faces…
Overhauling regulatory controls for pesticide risk assessment.
In particular, investigating and monitoring the effects that the exposure to cocktails of chemicals can have on human health and the environment. The specific pesticide formulations used in the field should also be subject to testing and rigorous scientific assessment rather than the active ingredients alone. In addition, all available independent scientific literature should be taken into account as part of risk assessment processes, and all studies and data used in the assessment should be made publicly available. Once an authorisation has been granted, if scientific evidence emerges bringing additional information that could put into question the conclusions of the risk assessment process a re-evaluation of the active substance and the formulations should immediately take place.
The report also reviews existing scientific literature on the use of synthetic chemical pesticides in agriculture:
Those pesticides pose a major threat to biodiversity either endangering species directly, by poisoning and eventually killing them, or indirectly, by disrupting ecosystems, e.g. through a collapse of the foodweb. ‘Cocktails’ of several pesticides commonly contaminate the environment, but the effects of such chemical mixtures are not routinely assessed as part of the EU pesticides’ authorisation process. In addition, pesticides are assessed by active ingredients, instead of examining the impacts of the actual marketed product used in the field. The EU process also fails to properly assess the long-term effects of exposure to low doses of pesticides, as it mainly focuses on their acute toxicity.
Non-chemical alternatives to pest management are already available to farmers but need the necessary political and financial support to go mainstream, and fulfil the promise of Ecological Farming, which combines modern science and innovation with respect for nature and biodiversity.
Greenpeace: Europe’s Pesticide Addiction – Full Report
Greenpeace: Europe’s Pesticide Addiction – Executive Summary