Organic Agriculture

1009 Words4 Pages
Prior to the advent and isolation of specific chemical compounds that could keep away pests and disease while stimulating plant growth, all agriculture would have been "organic." It is therefore erroneous to speak of the history of organic farming as distinct from agricultural history in general. The history of chemical-dependent agro-business, on the other hand, can be discussed from a historical perspective. The term organic is used mainly in opposition to the overuse and misuse of toxic chemical compounds such as herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers. These chemicals seep into groundwater, thereby creating long-term and potentially irreversible public health problems. There are also "unknown risks" associated with the use of genetically-modified organisms in agriculture (Delate, n.d.). According to Delate (n.d.), the use of petroleum-based and other potentially harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides began after World War II. The military technologies used to develop chemical weapons could be applied to other industries, including agriculture. "For example, ammonium nitrate used for munitions during WW II evolved into ammonium nitrate fertilizer; organophosphate nerve gas production led to the development of powerful insecticides," (Delate, n.d.). It was also during this time that a backlash against the use of chemicals in agriculture first arose. As Om Organics (2004) points out, the original idea of organics was "that the health of plants, soil, livestock and
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