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Pesticides: The Great Debate
• Insect collapse: ‘We are destroying our life support systems’
The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.
The analysis, published in the journal Biological Conservation, says intensive agriculture is the main driver of the declines, particularly the heavy use of pesticides.
We May Be Consuming More Glyphosate Than Ever Before
The Poison Papers
Documenting the Hidden History of Chemical and Pesticide Hazards in the United States
Factoid: According to the Environmental Protection Agency (as of 2015), there are more than 865 registered pesticides registered in the US
The “Poison Papers” represent a vast trove of rediscovered chemical industry and regulatory agency documents and correspondence stretching back to the 1920s. Taken as a whole, the papers show that both industry and regulators understood the extraordinary toxicity of many chemical products and worked together to conceal this information from the public and the press. These papers will transform our understanding of the hazards posed by certain chemicals on the market and the fraudulence of some of the regulatory processes relied upon to protect human health and the environment.
The Pesticide, Pro/Con Debate Continues
Gains associated with pesticide use include:
1. Economics of pesticide production:$65+ billion dollar business.
2. It has been estimated that millions of lives have been saved from death through malaria, yellow fever, sleeping sickness, Black plague and typhoid
3. With respect to agriculture- 35% lost before cropping and 20% post with pesticides ; without pesticide another 8% of additional damage would occur.
The psychological damage ('non perfect' fruit and vegetables) would be even greater- 20-90%
4. Forestry - millions of acres have been sprayed; Spruce budworm and gypsy moth. some contend however that these insects cycle normally and would decrease without the use of pesticides.
Cons associated with pesticide use:
1. Genetic resistance - every year the number of resistant species evolving increases.
Today, nearly 275 weeds and more than 500 insects are resistant to at least one pesticide. That's more than five times the amount in 1950. And farmers lose more crops to pests today than they did in the 1940s.
2. Most chemical pesticides are nonspecific - effect a large number of species, pest and non-pest.
3. Pesticides treadmill: from 1940 --> 1984 crop loss has increased from 7 --> 13% while pesticide use increased 12X. Why? with spraying we have killed the predators of the pests, and once the pest species is released from natural controls ( both no predation and no competition) their populations escalate.
4. With aerial application, only 10% reaches the crop and only 0.1%-5% reaches the targeted pest.
5. Pesticide use has threatened and continues to impact wildlife negatively.
6. Each year WHO estimates 1-5 million people have acute poisoning and die. In the US, 20,000 are estimated to suffer from some form of pesticide poisoning.
Pesticides: Scientific Assessments of Impacts
History of pesticide use
Alternatives to pesticides
Types of pesticides:
Heavy metals, organic and/or inorganic pesticides
Chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides (DDT)
Herbicides / Miticides
Pages in category "Pesticides"
The following 45 pages are in this category, out of 45 total.
Media in category "Pesticides"
The following 11 files are in this category, out of 11 total.