Andre Leu is an Australian organic farmer, an internationally recognised speaker, the author of ‘The Myths of Safe Pesticides’ and past President of IFOAM (The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements). Presently he is the international director of Regeneration International.
As a child Andre suffered from the effects of the chemicals used on the family farm and was often ill. This experience obiously led him to become an organic farmer and for the past 40 years has farmed in all areas of Organic Agriculture, from growing, pest-control, weed management, marketing and post-harvest transport to grower organisations, developing new crops and education – not only in his home country Australia, but across Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa.
In this presentation Andre details the myths associated with so-called safe pesticides. He claims there are about 80.000 of which only a few hundred have been tested. Toxicologists claim that this testing is not thorough and done in isolation. Thousands more untested chemicals are being used and mixed to make dangerous cocktails — no one’s testing for the synergies between these chemicals. So the product that a farmer buys is a cocktail of different chemicals. You have what they call the active ingredient in the pesticide and then you have the other synergists, adjuvants, and other chemicals like solvents that are also toxic, which are add it to make it work more effectively. But they only test the one ingredient they call the active ingredient and they ignore the others by pulling them inert. The actual combination that is sold and used on our food is not tested.