Dealing with 'least toxic pesticides'
The WSSA, APS and P-IE ESA do not promote the use of pesticides above other pest management techniques. Pesticides should ONLY be used when needed, when risks to non-target organisms and habitats have been carefully considered, and when diligent attention will be given to following all label directions and other applicable laws. In addition, general and product-specific stewardship must always be practiced to prevent undesired effects under the particular application conditions.
Pesticides are an important component of many IPM programs for a variety of reasons. A fungicide, for example, may prevent disease, have curative effects, induce plant resistance to disease or promote plant health and yield. The most important message is to follow the label – the entire label, including all safety and other precautions – and practice good stewardship. Suggesting that only “least toxic pesticides” be used, as a “last resort,” ignores the extensive research, regulatory, educational and stewardship efforts that make important pesticide tools available and define their proper and safe use in Integrated Pest Management programs.
Societies Renew Their Endorsement of IPM Definition in USDA “National Road Map for Integrated Pest Management”
No pest management-related term has been defined in so many different ways as “Integrated Pest Management.” WSSA, APS and P-IE ESA strongly oppose a non-scientific approach to IPM and re-endorse the USDA National Road Map definition:
“Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is a long-standing, science-based, decision-making process that identifies and reduces risks from pests and pest management related strategies. It coordinates the use of pest biology, environmental information and available technology to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means, while posing the least possible risk to people, property, resources and the environment. IPM provides an effective strategy for managing pests in all arenas, from developed agricultural, residential, and public areas to wild lands. IPM serves as an umbrella to provide an effective, all encompassing, low-risk approach to protect resources and people from pests.” USDA National Road Map for Integrated Pest Management
Real examples of the risks when pesticides are used only as a “last resort” and the benefits of using appropriately timed pesticides as part of an integrated pest management program, as well as common questions and answers, are available online.