Magazine article New Internationalist

There's a Hole in My Cabbage

Magazine article New Internationalist

There's a Hole in My Cabbage

Article excerpt

Given that an important reason to 'grow your own' is to avoid harmful chemicals, you would think that your average gardener would be pretty averse to using pesticides. Yet the home and garden pesticide industry makes billions each year for the corporate chemical giants. There are currently more than 700 different insecticides, herbicides and fungicide products approved for home use by the UK's Chemicals Regulation Directorate. You have only to visit the pest control section of your local DIY store or garden centre to see the huge range available. Most are synthetic chemicals manufactured specifically for their toxic properties to a target species. Environmental organizations have expressed particular concern over the effects of neo-nicotinoid pesticides. These are used worldwide as a coating for agricultural seeds and in pest control sprays for garden and farming use. Neo-nicotinoid pesticides are 'systemic', which means that they are absorbed into every cell of the plant, including the nectar and pollen. In response to new studies showing that these pesticides could therefore be hazardous to bees, several European countries, including France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia, have banned them. …

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