Garden Pest & Disease Control will be the most up to date handy reference for the control of pests and disease in the New Zealand home garden, making it a useful reference for retail stores too.
Bill also aims to stem the flow of misinformation about home garden pesticides in New Zealand which he feels have been demonised by organic enthusiasts, garden writers and a few misinformed academics
He uncovered the following in research for his book:
Oakdale Organics website is typical of many with the following statement
“Over 3000 tons of pesticides, including insecticides herbicides and fungicides are used in New Zealand every year. More than half of these are known to cause cancer and birth defects”.
The 3000 tons is very questionable. No pesticides in NZ, commercial or home garden, are known carcinogens. Any that were known were de registered prior to year 2000 when the HASNO Act came into force.
There are 2 ‘suspected’ carcinogens in the home garden range of products – several pyrethrum brands and unregistered neem products - both organic.
Also – No home garden pesticides are known mutagens, reproduction toxicants, or body organ toxicants.
‘Suspected’ is the term used when a very small number of test animals in one of ten plus studies indicate the stated problem when fed extremely high levels of the substance over time. A more accurate description would be ‘extremely unlikely but remotely possible’.
There are no acute ‘poisons’ in the home garden range, there are 7 ‘harmful substances’, and 53 ‘not scheduled’ – which means they are no more toxic than common substances.