[NAFEX] chemical vs organic [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Kevin Moore aleguy33 at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 16 17:51:00 EDT 2009

While I agree with the point I think you were trying to make, I must point out that Bt is a living organism, not a chemical. It works by infecting larvae of various pests and then killing them. Any pest that doesn't have a "worm-like" larval stage will not be affected by it.

From: "dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com" <dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com>
To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 9:15:02 AM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] chemical vs organic [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

The question is not organic vs. chemical 
or chemical vs. organic since organic growers do use chemicals such as 
Bt.  It is the toxin from the soil bacteria Bacillus 
thuringiensis. In 
1997 Bt was the  most heavily used pesticide on organic 
farms.  The real question that is 
typically overlooked is, toxic vs. non-toxic.  For 
Nicotine, one of the more toxic organic 
insecticides, has a rat LD50 (lethal dose in 50% of animals tested) of 55mg/kg. 
The synthetic insecticide, imidacloprid, has a rat LD50 of 425mg/kg, making 
imidacloprid nearly 10 times less toxic than nicotine. Yet nicotine is 
"organic".   Rotenone has an LD50 of 60-1500 mg/kg and is more acutely 
toxic than Malathion or Sevin. Cats are highly susceptible to 
pyrethrum. But Rotenone is "organic".   
We are a conventionally grown fruit 
orchard and I would never use either Bt or Rotenone.  I don't use 
Malathion and only use Sevin as a thinner at 1/2 to 1/4 rate.  I don't wnat 
to kill our beneficials!  
Dennis Norton
Royal Oak Farm 
Office (815) 648-4467
Mobile (815) 228-2174
Fax (609) 
----- Original Message -----  
From: "ADAMSON, Karl" <Karl.Adamson at apvma.gov.au>
To: <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, June 15, 2009 6:53 PM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] chemical vs organic 
Nice article. I use pesticides only where I have no other 
choice, like
all the tools of science they can be used well, but 
unfortunately are
frequently misused. To further this point I'd like to cite 
a quote
written in 1943 "Artificial Manures, or, The conservation and use 
organic matter for soil improvement" p 59.  (I love the titles of 

In speaking quite critically on the subject of biodynamics 
the author
states "No information is offered as to the composition of 
preparations (biodynamic formulae).  Preparations are recommended 
for the control of insect pests and plant diseases instead of the 
orthodox lead, arsenic and copper compounds generally advocates 
modern entomologists and plant pathologists."

Well I guess the font 
of knowledge has moved location since that
statement! So who knows, in 
another 50 years we may be saying the same
thing about a lot of the chemicals 
we currently use.  Times change and
hopefully in the process we become a 
better more learned society.


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