The treatment products for the garden or phytosanitary are increasingly criticized. But they are sometimes wrongly accused. Update on truths and untruths. Thanks to Patrick Mioulane, gardening expert.
Processed foods pose a risk to consumers: false
Approval requires a food risk assessment if the treated plants are eaten without being washed or peeled. Normal use of the treatment products does not present a health risk, especially since it is imperative to observe a delay between application and consumption, as mentioned on each packaging of phytosanitary product.
The nutritional quality of untreated food is superior: false
The choice of varieties, the nature of the soil, the climatic conditions, the density of the crops and the timing chosen for the harvest are the main factors which influence the content of vitamins, trace elements, antioxidants and fruits as well as the flavor.
Thanks to the treatments, we meet fewer and fewer phytosanitary problems: false
Treatments only keep pests at a level acceptable to crops. Due to the generalization of international trade and travel, emerging diseases and intensive pests from distant geographical areas are constantly appearing.
The so-called "natural" products are often offered by the most famous "chemical" brands. The main industrial players thus leave amateur gardeners the choice of the protection mode they prefer.
Natural pesticides pose less risk than chemicals: false
From the moment a substance is active, it necessarily has effects on the environment. Natural materials can be toxic. This is the case, for example, of nicotine, formerly used against aphids and often recommended in organic gardening works, while tobacco leaf extract is eight times more toxic than acetamiprid (systemic insecticide of last generation).
It is possible to do without pest control treatments: false
A "zero pesticide" objective is not capable of ensuring at least equivalent production and ensuring the good sanitary condition of gardens and green spaces. The "zero phyto" approach displayed by an increasing number of municipalities most often corresponds to "zero herbicides".
Phytosanitary treatments are responsible for the increase in the number of cancers: false
To date, there is no epidemiological evidence that residues of plant protection products, alone or mixed, which could be found in water or food, have a significant effect on a risk of cancer, according to 7000 studies carried out by the World Cancer Research Fund. However, research is moving towards less and less toxic substances and the toxicological requirements are increasing. To know more : www.upj.fr