1st Edition

The Pesticide Detox Towards a More Sustainable Agriculture

By Jules N. Pretty Copyright 2005

    Since the 1960s, the world's population has more than doubled and agricultural production per person has increased by a third. Yet this growth in production has masked enormous hidden costs arising from widespread pesticide use - massive ecological damage and high incidences of farmer poisoning and chronic health effects. Whereas once the risks involved with pesticide use were judged to be outweighed by the potential benefits, increasingly the external costs of pesticides, to environments and human health, are being seen as unacceptable. In response to this trend, recent years have seen millions of farmers in communities around the world reduce their use of harmful pesticides and develop cheaper and safer alternatives. The Pesticide Detox explores the potential for the phasing-out of hazardous pesticides and the phasing-in of cost effective alternatives already available on the market. This book makes clear that it is time to start the pesticide detox and to move towards a more sustainable agriculture.

    Pesticide Use and the Environment * The Health Impacts of Pesticides: What Do We Now Know? * Paying the Price: The Full Cost of Pesticides * Corporations and Pesticides * Overview of Agrobiologicals and Alternatives to Synthetic Pesticides * Farmer Decision-making for Ecological Pest Management * The Human and Social Dimensions of Pest Management for Agricultural Sustainability * Ecological Basis for Low-toxicity Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Rice and Vegetables * Towards Zero-pesticide Use in Tropical Agroecosystems * From Pesticides to People: Improving Ecosystem Health in the Northern Andes * Breaking the Barriers to IPM in Africa: Evidence from Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana and Senegal * Towards Safe Cocoa Pest Management in West Africa * Agroecological Approaches to Pest Management in the US * Towards Safe Pest Management in Industrialized Agricultural Systems * Policies and Trends * References * Index


    Jules Pretty is Director of the Centre for Environment and Society at the University of Essex and author of Agri-Culture (2002) and The Living Land (1999).