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Scientists take objective look at terms 'least toxic pesticides' applied as 'last resort'
Date:11/12/2012

et/WSSA/PressRoom/WSSA-PSEP-TechPaper.pdf">U.S. Pesticide Safety Education Program has been eliminated in 2011 and 2012. This program is vital to educate pesticide users and dealers who must be certified to apply or sell pesticides, and to teach the public how to use pesticides safely.

There is no benefit or scientific basis to simplistic messages like "use least toxic pesticides as a last resort" for the large number of pesticide users who apply pesticides according to the label and practice good stewardship. Nor are these messages beneficial for those who neither seek training nor adequately read the label ̶ believing instead that it is safe, practical, and effective to simply choose a product considered a "least toxic pesticide" and apply it only as a "last resort." These messages hinder pesticide safety and stewardship education and practices that are in the best interest of the pesticide user, our food supply, public health and ecosystem preservation.

The WSSA, APS and P-IE ESA do not promote the use of pesticides above other pest management techniques. Pesticides should ONLY be used when needed, when risks to non-target organisms and habitats have been carefully considered, and when diligent attention will be given to following all label directions and other applicable laws. In addition, general and product-specific stewardship must always be practiced to prevent undesired effects under the particular application conditions.

Pesticides are an important component of many IPM programs for a variety of reasons. A fungicide, for example, may prevent disease, have curative effects, induce plant resistance to disease or promote plant health and yield. The most important message is to follow the label the entire label, including all safety and other precautions and practice good stewardship. Suggesting that only "least toxic pesticides" be used, as a "last resort," ignores the extensive research, regulatory, educatio
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Contact: Lee Van Wychen
Lee.VanWychen@wssa.net
202-746-4686
Entomological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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