To attain the Insecticide Free achievement, farms must have not used any insecticides on their property for 12 months.
Insecticides are any chemical that kill insects and their eggs and larvae through ingestion, inhalation, body covering or a combination of these. Organic insecticides are derived from plants which naturally produce their own protection like tobacco plants. Insecticides where a breakthrough in Agriculture in the 1940’s and lead to significant increases in yields, helped prevent stored food from spoiling and increased the overall quality of these foods.
Although insecticides have had a positive impact on our food production, they also have had many environmental side effects. A report into Insecticides: Impact on the Environment and Human Health said that “it has also been found that only 1% of used pesticides reach their target pests and more than 99% of them are disseminated in the environment”. Insecticides poisoning of insects affects birds, frogs, fish and other animals who eat the poisoned insects contributing to the decline in their populations worldwide. Pesticides have also been detected all over the world from our ground water supplies, local waterways, in the snow 4250m above ground in the mountains in Tibet and 25,000 containers of DDT were recently found dumped off the coast of California, which were banned around the world due to their extremely harmful environmental impact. This broad spectrum approach to insect control also kills other beneficial insects like honeybees and other pollinators.
By labelling farms produce with Insecticide Free, customers can support farmers who haven't used insecticides on their farm and help stop the loss of insect species before we do irreversible damage to our planet’s insect population and diversity.