The definition of organic agriculture is farming with the use of synthetic chemicals. After World War II, larger and increasingly automated farms, known as "factory farms," put the synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides developed in the 1920s into widespread use. They found that more crops could be produced mass produced. What they did not realize were the dangers of using these chemicals and the effects they would have on the environment and human health.
The USDA must approve all products claiming to be organic and there are many strict guidelines farmers must follow. Farmers must abstain from the use of prohibited materials (pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and sewage sludge) for three years prior to being certified organic and then continue these practices throughout their organic license. They must employ positive soil burning, conservation, manure management and crop rotation. They must provide outdoor access and pastures for livestock and refrain from the use of antibiotics and hormones in their animals, while sustaining livestock on 100% organic feed. Farmers may not use genetically modified organisms or irradiation.
Organic products are grown in healthier soil and contain higher levels of nutrients and non-organics. Many organic may even taste better. Food irradiation is worse than the radiation from a television or microwave. The ionizing radiation processes used on food break up molecules and deplete food of essential vitamins and enzymes.
Many pesticides are linked to diseases. An example is glufosinate, which is commonly used on sugar beets and canola, has been shown to cause birth defects. Chemical companies influence the government to raise the acceptable levels of chemicals in foods so that they can make more money on their product without concern for the environment and the safety of people. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging the use of biosolids (human waste) to be used...