As others have mentioned here, organic farmers either lie and/or are actually entitled to use a certain amount of pesticides (so long as it stays within certain guidelines) and still classify their food as organic. If that's the case who's to say that a small amount of a potentially very toxic pesticide (that still falls within "organic" labeling restrictions) won't eventually wreak havoc on humans either short or long term? For these two reasons I am of the opinion that buying organic poses no better value.
Organic farmers lie? You're making that up, and as an organic farmer I frankly find it insulting. On what basis do you make such a claim? Has an organic farmer ever lied to you personally? Have conventional farmers not lied to you? Where is this coming from?
Organic farms submit extensive documentation to prove they're not "lying." The farms have at least one annual inspection (mine was yesterday) and may have surprise unannounced inspections at any time of the year. Last year saw visits on my farm from NRCS, USDA, and NMDA, all governmental agencies overseeing what we do.
Regarding toxic pesticides, it is *conventional* agriculture that uses them. Earlier this month the EPA revoked yet another toxic pesticide from conventional apple growers that's been banned in Europe for about a decade. The residue is found on a large percentage of the conventional apples you see in the stores today and for all of the next year.
Since you claim that organic farmers use "very toxic pesticides" that still falls into the organic standard, please name them. Again, here you're just making it up. There are no synthetic pesticides allowed in organic production, period.
Then you claim that we can use a certain amount of pesticides so long as it's small? You obviously haven't read the standard:
"§ 205.105 Allowed and prohibited substances, methods, and ingredients in organic production and handling.
To be sold or labeled as “100 percent organic,” “organic,” or “made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s)),” the product must be produced and handled without the use of:
(a) Synthetic substances and ingredients, except as provided in §205.601 or §205.603;"
Section 601 deals with crops, 603 is livestock.
Seriously, go read it before you make any more negative statements about organic agriculture. Here's a direct linkhttp://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=e9e3cef0e13da7a159ce13553b1ca5dd&rgn=div8&view=text&node=7:22.214.171.124.32.7.354.2&idno=7
What we can use are traps, lures, and release of predator insects. We can use fungus, bacteria, soaps, clays, oils, and botanical extracts, but only as a last resort. These are substances that are either fully biological in nature or are biodegradable in very short periods of time. They have no residual effect and are non-persistent. We can't spray until the pest reach a certain threshold, and really it's not the way to solve the issue.
The front line against pests in organic ag is to build beneficial insect habitat and release beneficial insects to create a natural balance that keeps pests down to a non-economic issue. We're not trying to kill every last bug on the farm, we're creating an ecology that has a lot of bugs in balance, with the good ones out competing the bad ones.
What I find so striking in all the conversations about organic agriculture is the lack of knowledge by the people who are against it. I'm fine if people say they haven't really looked into it and just buy conventional food. But when people make false claims to justify their food choices, why do they do that? I don't understand what brings people to do that.