so sad for spinosad…



I only recently saw this on the JF-Mugnier website – it’s a funny old world…

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There are 3 responses to “so sad for spinosad…”

  1. Philip15th December 2009 at 8:45 pmPermalinkReply

    It never ceases to amaze me that the Soil Association, here in the UK, approves a number of pesticides, apparently because they are “natural”. Given the choice between eating some of the amazing “synthetic” products from the snack food industry and, say, a “natural” raw potato or a “natural” rhubarb leaf, nobody with the slightest knowledge of what’s toxic would hesitate to choose the former.

  2. Mark23rd December 2009 at 1:38 pmPermalinkReply

    The soil assoc has not approved spinosad in the UK which is something putting UK organic growers at big dissadvantage. It is approved for organic use in many EU countries and the rest of the world. So fact: organic produce sold in the UK is treated with this insecticide. Looking at other “organic” insecticides – Derris is very toxic but is approved and used. Under commerncial conditions it kills many insects, including beneficial ones. Also BT is one of THE most toxic insecticides to natural butterflies yet it is applied to control moth pests. Back to spinosad – maybe what is wrong is your information. I suggest you search the scientific literature, EFSA website for information. Spinosad is natural – it is fermented by a bacterium from starch and sugars – can you think of other natural fermentation products…I know one – even applies to wine…alcohol – that IS toxic and a chronic human carcinogen. But it is only dangerous when over used and taken in large amounts – if you don’t drink wine (apart from being very sad) or only have a few glasses a week the dose is such that it will not be of toxicological concern. That’s also the case with natural insecticides. Get the dose, timing and use correct and you can apply them without causing undue risk to bees or aquatic life e.g. don’t applied at the middle of the day
    when the crop is flowering (low risk to bees) don’t use in vines near water (low risk to aquatic life).

    • billn24th December 2009 at 1:18 pmPermalinkReply

      Hi Mark,
      By training I’m an organic and polymer chemist, yet I would rail at your use, or implication of your use of the word ‘natural’ – arsenic, deadly nightshade, black-widow spiders etc., are all ‘natural’…
      Please also note that this is not ‘my information’, merely a link to a vigneron who is wondering out loud about the conjunction of the word ‘bio’ (his usage) to the potential death of his bees and maybe his goldfish too…
      But many things have their place…

  3. Mark27th December 2009 at 8:51 amPermalinkReply

    Hi Bill
    thanks for your reply.
    I was trying to indicate the idea of toxicity vs risk and benefit. But I get your point (or the out loud wondering of the vigneron) there is the interesting situation of something classed as “bio” and also being toxic to certain organisms just because of it origin (“natural” vs synthetic). And even those classifications I’m sure we can have a lively debate about! There is the expectation by many that organic/bio = not toxic/harmless but it’s all down to the origin of the product of use rather than it’s toxicological properties or environmental fate. So it’s important that everyone involved is well informed. It can be a tough job protecting vines from insect pests and until that “perfect” insecticide (whatever that is) is found/developed there will always be choices to be made and risk and benefits to be weighed up.
    Hope you enjoyed a few good glasses of wine over the Christmas celebrations!

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