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A tractor sprays many rows of crops with a pesticide - a text overlay says ‘are pesticides dangerous?’

Are pesticides really dangerous?

There is a lot of conflicting information about whether or not pesticides are dangerous so it is no surprise that I get asked this question fairly frequently. I’d love to give a yes or no answer but the truth is, it varies depending on the pesticide in question and how you define ‘dangerous’. If you’ve ever wondered whether pesticides are dangerous, the following information should give you the information you need to answer the question for the specific pesticides you’re interested in.

 

The unexpected consequences of pruning

On 3 October 2017, scientists published an interesting article in the journal Ecology titled ‘molecular constraints on resistance-tolerance trade-offs’. This is a bit of a mouthful but basically, the study looks at the mechanisms some plants use to cope with the negative effects of being pruned or munched on by wildlife, namely resistance and tolerance, and they found something rather surprising that could, in the future, increase agricultural yields and reduce reliance on pesticides.