The Ecologist

Farmer spraying crops with pesticides
More articles about
Related Articles

Letter: be careful with the term 'pesticide'

K Jean Cottam

18th November, 2009

Using the term 'pesticides' generically can mislead and confuse

To the Editor,

Re.: GM crops causing a rise in pesticide use in US, published in the Ecologist on 17th November, 2009

I am honorary Canadian observer on the US Pesticide Working Group and found this article quite interesting.

However, I take exception to the improper use of the generic word 'pesticides' which includes all the 'cides'. The misuse of 'pesticides' in the press, especially in journals such as the Ecologist, is unacceptable and confusing.

The use of 'pesticides' as a substitute for 'insecticides' is incorrect. The meaning of the word 'pest' is very broad.

I suppose I am myself a bit of a 'pest' by bothering you about this issue.

K. Jean Cottam, PhD
Ottawa, Canada


Previous Articles...


Using this website means you agree to us using simple cookies.

More information here...




Help us keep the Ecologist platform going

Since 2012, the Ecologist has been owned and published by a small UK-based charity called the Resurgence Trust. We work hard to support the kind of independent journalism and comment that we know Ecologist readers enjoy but we need your help to keep going. We do all this on a very small budget with a very small editorial team and so joining the Trust or making a donation will show us you value our work and support the platform which is currently offered as a free service.

Join The Resurgence TrustDonate to support the Resurgence Trust