The consumption has increased 20 percent a year since 1990. It was 6.5 billion dollars in 1999 and 7.8 billion dollars in 2000 (Dimitri, 4-7). We tend to favor organic foods because we have heard many issues on television about the salmonella infection after eating lettuce and warning of pesticide residues in food. However, choosing organic foods is not free from these concerns.
Organic foods are not pesticides free. According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), organic food is defined as ‘“Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled ‘organic,’ a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards’” (Consumer brochure, 1). Consumers might question how the organic farmers manage insect pests, weeds, or crop diseases. Organic farmers are permitted using a few synthetic fungicides, some of the pesticides and organic insecticides by USDA National Organic Program Standards, including pyrethrum, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), rotenone, copper, and sulphur. Farmers regularly spray pesticides on the crops. Alex Avery, director of research at the Hudson Institute’s center for global food issues, states in his article that “Pyrethrum is has been classified by U.S. Environmental protection Agency as a likely human carcinogen, and rotenone causes symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in rats” (Avery, 1). However, these pesticides are still allowed to use for organic farmers.
A study was conducted to test the residue of synthetic pesticides. 1000 pounds of peaches, green bell peppers, apples and tomatoes were bought from stores in San Francisco, New Haven, Seattle, Boston,