Pesticides and the Population
Pesticides are not a part of nature but have been labeled so by people. Humans define pests as any animal or plant endangering the food supply, comfort or health. Pesticides were created to prevent or destroy pests. Pesticides and technology are used for the purpose of improving the food supply. Pesticides control diseases, insects, rodents, birds, spider mites on weed, etc. Unfortunately, they often do more harm than good.
The use of pesticides can result in suffering from both short-term and chronic adverse health effects. They can cause rashes, blindness, dizziness, stinging eyes, diarrhea, nausea, blisters, cancer, and even death months or years after exposure. Pesticides are intended to allow humans to make the most of natural resources but at what cost?
There are much better organic solutions available. In the past, it was believed pesticides were a solution for abundant food sources and a higher quality of life. Today, people are thinking differently. Many have become concerned that the danger to both people and the environment is unacceptable, and they are starting to ask questions about the risks and benefits of pesticides and how they are regulated.
Information is necessary to understand why pesticides have been under fire. Many consider them a poor alternative to organic and natural farming. The number of multimillion dollar lawsuits against pesticide companies has added fuel to the flames.
The History of Pesticides in the United States
Pesticides originated after World War II. Companies began production of BHC, DDT, dieldrin, 2,4-D, endrin and aldrin. These new pesticides were extremely popular, effective and inexpensive. The popularity of DDT was due to the broad-spectrum activity effective against agricultural pests. The most effective and inexpensive option for controlling weeds in crops was 2,4-D.
At this time, people believed pesticides were safe and used them liberally to help eliminate both pests and weeds. The issue began when certain pests developed a genetic resistance to pesticides. Animals and plants were no longer safe and many were accidently harmed. The residue from pesticides turned up in the most unexpected places due to overuse. This was when organic and natural farming began to increase in popularity.
Is Organic Farming a Better Alternative to Pesticides?
Since no pesticides are necessary for organic farming, it is healthier for both people and the environment. Organic farming creates a lot less soil erosion and pollution. Since nature always finds a way to adapt, spraying pesticides to destroy bugs has only resulted in their evolution and growth. As chemicals continue to be sprayed, manufacturers have been forced to make them stronger.
The belief is eventually chemicals will be ineffective and pests and plants more harmful. You may not realize that when all aspects are considered, pesticides are more expensive than natural farming.
Hundreds of millions of pounds of pesticides are used in the United States every year despite being phased out or banned in Brazil, China and the EU. Many of these pesticides have led to acute poisonings in the United States. Certain states have taken the initiative and banned their use. During the last few years, the EPA or Environmental Protection Agency has almost completely abandoned all attempts to ban pesticides.
The pesticide industry has taken control of pesticide cancellations. Unless the industry consents, these hazardous chemicals are not banned. The majority of states continue to use pesticides despite the fact many of them have been proven unsafe for people and the environment.
One of the most well-know lawsuits is against Roundup. According to estimates, the typical plaintiff with non-Hodgkin lymphoma or another type of cancer can expect to receive as much as $250,000 for damages. The jury ruled on Bayer and BASF as the co-defendent in February of 2020. Bill Bader of Bader Farms is the peach grower the court ordered to be paid $15 million for damages by Bayer and BASF.
Lawsuits have been filed recently in California regarding class-act damages against Dow Chemical. A link was established between a common and often used bug killer and children suffering from brain damage. This bug killer is called Chlorpyrifos and has received approval for over 80 crops such as berries, soybeans, walnuts, oranges, grapes and almonds.
Even though sales of this pesticide were banned in California a year ago, it was still being sprayed. Only certain states have made an attempt to ban Chlorpyrifos including New York. As the lead attorney for the case, Stuart Calwell stated the effects of the chemical have lingered in agricultural communities resulting in decades of chlorpyrifos use and contamination.
Measurable levels of this chemical have been found in the homes of the individuals represented in the lawsuit. The estimate of the attorneys is a minimum of 100,000 homes will lose the majority of their belongings because pesticide contamination has been confirmed.
There are many alternatives to harmful chemical pesticides including the use of biological controls, beneficial bacteria and natural, organic pesticide solutions such as Trifecta Crop Control to control problems like bud mold and mite infestations. We suggest you do your research before concluding on any products for pest control, as different plant types will respond differently to different chemicals. Controlling the health of your crops is your legal right, don’t get caught up in the politics of corporate pest control, try organic solutions that will work for you and your community for years to come.