In 2002 there were 77 non-organic chemicals (including pesticides) allowed in organic foods. Now there are 250. Professor Emeritus of Plant Biochemistry from Cornell University, Geza Hrazdina, explained that in organic foods most botanical pesticides are allowed for usage. These chemicals are derived from a plant. This does not mean, however, that they are less dangerous to humans. He explained that some botanical derivatives can be more toxic than our synthesized chemicals. In addition, organic companies don’t have to label that foods are used with certain pesticides. Rotenone is the most common botanical pesticide used on organic foods. One study showed that it would take seven applications of this pesticide to equal the effect of two applications of the common synthesized pesticide imidan.
A New York Times article explained that some of these chemicals may be allowed in foods because large organic corporations have lobbied for them. These topic we plan to highlight in our documentary.
Organic farmers are encouraged to only use botanical pesticides and non-organic permitted chemicals on foods when absolutely necessary.