Thursday, September 13, 2007

Reasons to support Organic Cotton

Eighty-four million pounds of pesticides are sprayed on the 14.4 million acres of conventional cotton grown in the U.S. (5.85 pounds/acre), ranking cotton second behind corn in total amount of pesticides sprayed, according to the US Department of Agriculture, 25% of pesticides are used on cotton. These pesticides pollute our water sources, soil, air, and are also dangerous to people living near the cotton fields. Over 2.03 billion pounds of synthetic fertilizers were applied to conventional cotton every year (142 pounds/acre), making cotton the fourth most heavily fertilized crop behind corn, winter wheat, and soybeans. To put these numbers in perspective, it takes roughly one-third of a pound of chemicals (pesticides and fertilizers) to grow enough cotton for just one T-shirt. The Environmental Protection Agency considers seven of the top 15 pesticides used on cotton in the United States as “possible”, “likely”, “probable” or “known” human carcinogens (acephate, dichloropropene, diuron, fluometuron, pendimethalin, tribufos and trifluralin).
Buying Organic cotton also limits the use of genetically modified crops, because to be certified organic crops cannot be genetically modified. Also when you support farmers who grow cotton organically, you support sustainable farming practices which is better for everyone.

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