"Ideological" push to organic farming attacked

Industry cost-benefit analysis rates pesticide use clearly beneficial for economy, society

European governments that are encouraging a big growth in organic farming are "discrediting environmental policy" by failing to examine properly the overall costs and benefits to society of pesticide use, according to a study released yesterday by the European crop protection association (Ecpa).

Written by a German academic, the report discusses the application of cost-benefit analysis to agriculture and calculates the external environmental and health costs of pesticide use. It also estimates the economic and social costs of any mandated cuts in pesticide use, including complete prohibition.

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