pesticide essay

pesticide essay

People don’t know how they endanger them by consuming food that is not organic and is not pesticide free. The Food that is crop with a lot of chemical pesticides have the remains of the chemicals even when they are sold in stores. These can cause a lot of problems for the health and the environment. In 1962 it was published a book about the problem that was using carbonated pesticides especially DDT. In this book, was known that when people cropped the food with DDT, the DDT stayed in the food and in the fields.

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. Chemical Pesticides and the Damages they Cause Aaron Walker Devry University Chemical Pesticide and the Damages they Cause causes The articles and information that I grasped from the internet consisted of chemical pesticides and how they are affecting the animals, food, and humanity in today’s time. There are many ways to eating healthy, but at the same time we must be observant to the types of food that we put in our system. We have leaner products, vegetables, fruits, and different ways to diet as human beings. These products help people from being overweight and obese. There are many people who are ignorant to the aspects of living a healthier life, and later on in life they suffer the consequences. These consequences consist of various ailments such as Blood Disorders, Liver & Kidney Damage, Cancer Fatigue, Alzheimer’s Disease, Death, etc. With the chemicals that are placed in our food now of days: you don’t have to be a certain age for them to affect you. Now of days people are losing their life at an early age due to the advanced chemicals that are put into people’s systems. How do we stay away from these chemicals while living a healthier lifestyle at the same time? There are a variety of ways that I will be explaining on how to keep away from these substances. I will be explaining how I feel about this matter at hand, and what I am willing to do to change my life and other.

.  Pest and Pesticides For centuries, pests have been feasting on crops and not only decreasing a farmer’s crop yield, but also spreading diseases that can even be deadly. Mosquitos, like the one to the left can carry many diseases such as West Nile and malaria.1 There are so many pests from insects such as beetles, which feed off of crops such as the potato plant (left), and mosquitos (left) to rodents such as rats that “even with extensive use of pesticides, a substantial amount of damaged [crops] is caused by pests each year” (Mark A. Kantor, “Pesticides and Your Food). Pesticides (i.e: insecticides, rodenticides) are used to decrease the population of pests. Even though pesticides are the most “fast-acting” (“Pesticides”, Master Gardner Foundation) for eliminating a large majority of pests that feed on crops, it has and extensive amount of negative impacts not only on animals but for humans as well. The use of pesticides on crops has proven to be very effective over the years and have many benefits. With the decrease of pests, comes an increase in not only the crop yield but also in the quality of the food because of the elimination of diseases that pests might spread on plants and then be ingested by humans. This increase in crop yield is not only very beneficial for putting food on the table but also for economical reasons. In the 1980s, many European.

Pesticides: Pesticide and Quality Protection Act Essay

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. life itself. As agriculture became a profitable business, the need to grow more crops on less land gave rise to new forms of farming including the use of pesticides. In towns and cities a similar fate occurred in that disease and infestation gave rise to the use of deadly pesticides. At the time that this book was published there was a belief that Americans have “… put poisonous and biologically potent chemicals indiscriminately into the hand of persons ignorant of their potential for harm.” Pesticides and chemicals were used with little or no research as to their effect on soil, water, wildlife, and humans. Topics discussed in the book relating to environmental science include water pollution, population decrease, and the poisoning of organisms. One of the topics mentioned in “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson is the pollution of water through pesticides. Water pollution by pesticides is only one form of water pollution along with radioactive waste, domestic waste, and chemical waste combined with the chemical sprays applied to crops and gardens. With the application of waterborne residues, and millions of pounds of agricultural chemicals, the seas and oceans had begun to show the effect of these pollutants. Evidence of chemicals in our streams and public water supplies show signs of DDT pollution. DDT, an extremely toxic pesticide with detrimental effects on all life, is lethal to humans.

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. Swiss scientist Paul Müller was awarded the 1948 Nobel Prize in Physiology and discovered the properties of DDT. However, is toxic to many animals, including humans, unfortunately it is insoluble in water, and fat soluble. It moves very easily through the environment, in such way that regions that have not yet been sprayed with DDT have shown a clear site of it such as the bottom of the ocean. DDT also breaks down very slowly in the environment and it concentrates in body tissue. The publishing of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in the 1960s, argues that DDT and pesticides caused cancer and also there has been concern regarding the effects of chemical pesticides on the environment. In the environment, the biological concentration of chemical pesticides tends to increase the higher the animal is in the food chain. DDT, for example, severely reduced the rate of reproduction in many fish and birds. Most of the pesticides can also harm people either directly or indirectly through the food chain. The publication of Carson's Silent Spring brought a big concern to the public and the pressures grow in United States to affect a ban on DDT. After the United States banned its use in 1972, the wildlife population returned. During the World War II DDT was extensively used to control the insects and a deadly disease that till today has brought many deaths all around the world know as malaria. Nevertheless, DDT use continues in.

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Below is an essay on "Pesticides" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Pesticides are substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest. It is a special kind of produce for crop protecting. Crop protection products protect plants from damaging influences such as weeds, diseases or insects. A pesticide is generally a chemical or a biological agent (such as a virus, bacterium, antimicrobial, disinfectant) that kills or remove pests. Target pests can include insects, plant pathogens, weeds, mollusks, birds, mammals, fish, nematodes (roundworms), and microbes that destroy property, spread disease or are causes for a disease. Although there are human benefits to the use of pesticides, some also have negative effects such as potential toxicity to humans and other animals and health defects. According to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, 9 of the 12 most dangerous and persistent organic chemicals are pesticides. Pesticides are categorized into four main substituent chemicals: herbicides; fungicides; insecticides and bactericides.

Pesticides are used to control organisms that are considered to be harmful. For example, they are used to kill mosquitoes that can transmit potentially deadly diseases like West Nile virus, yellow fever, and malaria. They can also kill bees, wasps or ants that can cause allergic reactions. Insecticides can protect animals from illnesses that can be caused by parasites such as fleas. Pesticides can prevent sickness in humans that could be caused by moldy food or diseased produce. Herbicides can be used to clear roadside weeds, trees and brush. They can also kill weeds that may cause environmental damage. Herbicides are commonly used in ponds and lakes to control algae and plants such as water grasses that can interfere with activities like swimming and fishing and cause the water to look or smell unpleasant. Uncontrolled pests such as termites and mould can.

Pesticides Essay Research Paper Should we be

Pesticides Essay, Research Paper

Should we be concerned with the extensive use of pesticides by farmers? I believe we should be aware of the consequences of pesticide use. The more we are exposed to pesticides, the greater the risk there is to the environment and our health. They are responsible for many environmental problems such as water pollution, soil degradation, and insect resistance. I will look at all the environmental impacts caused by pesticide use. But what led to the rise of the use of pesticides? Tremendous increase in crop production, profits, and pest control due to pesticide use are some of the reasons for this increase. There are many theories, which explain the rise of pesticides, and the influence pesticides have had on land use decisions by farmers. I will discuss several theories that try and explain this. Farmers have moved towards different farming techniques such as massive production of a single crop instead of the traditional style of producing several crops. Techniques such as these have resulted from the use of pesticides. An example of all this is in the Philippines. The government in the Philippines has given considerable attention to the environmental and health impacts of pesticides and has implemented strategies to decrease the impacts. Many empirical studies have been done on the Philippines, and I will look at several of these. Lastly, I will discuss the future research of pesticides and how we are looking towards a decrease in the use of pesticides, and how the amount of pesticide use has decreased in the past twenty years. But firstly, I will explain what a pesticide is.

What exactly is a pesticide? Well, pesticides are chemicals that kill or suppress pests. There are three main types of pesticides: herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides. Herbicides are the type of pesticides that act against weeds, while insecticides act against insects, and fungicides act against fungi (Reuveni, 1995). There are two classes of pesticides, organic and inorganic. All pesticides are toxic and have some effect on the environment and our health. We are still looking for the ideal pesticide, which targets only the insects we want, and is harmless to the environment. Pesticides have provided highly effective and relatively easy control of plant pests for the past one hundred years. The first major commercial pesticides were an arsenic compound introduced in 1867 to control insects and a copper-based preparation in 1885 to control fungi attacking grapes (Reuveni, 1995). However, a rapid increase in their use began in the 1930?s and 1940?s following the discovery of synthetic organic chemicals, such as DDT and thiram. With the discovery of these pesticides, farmers began using them more often. We have been familiar with pesticides for a long time now, and have discovered many benefits a long with many environmental impacts that come along with the use of pesticides.

Chemical pesticides cause widespread environmental problems and are the only toxic chemical deliberately introduced into the environment. Some problems include insect resistance, water pollution, destruction of non-target animals, soil degradation, ozone depletion, and localized pollution (Cooley, 1&95; Crissman, 1&98; Dinham, 1&93; Reuveni, 1995). Over-use of pesticides creates insect resistance, destruction of natural enemies, and a resurgence of pest species leading in turn to increased spaying, which is also known as ?the pesticide treadmill? (Dinham, 1993). A good example of this is in Gezira where they are dependent on cotton production. After World War II, pesticides were introduced in Gezira and the pesticide use increased steadily after the 1940?s. By 1976, pesticide use had reached 2,500 tonnes a year. Cotton production costs quadrupled over ten years, while yields fell to the same yields obtained before World War II. After a while, yields ended up being the same because of the pest resistance. The only change in Gezira from World War II till the early 1980?s were the widespread introduction of pesticides. The amount of cotton they produced remained about the same (Dinham, 1993). This shows that over-use of pesticides will take away from the advantages of using pesticides.

Another environmental impact caused by pesticides is water pollution. Residues from the pesticides leach into the water, which are harmful to anything in the water. A study was done for Lake Ichkeul in the North of Tunisia. This is an important bird sanctuary and a unique ecosystem because it is connected to the sea by a narrow channel, and renewal of its waters is rather slow. It also collects water from many small rivers, which cross a densely cultivated area, in which lager amounts of pesticides are used. The study showed after examining the lake sediments and bird?s eggs that they contained organochlorine and PCB residues (Cooley, 1995). Residues of pesticides have been found in many other bodies of water. Along with this, a pesticide hasn?t been found yet to target only the insect we want it to destroy. So, it not only kills pests but some other non-target animals as well. Fish in the waters that are contaminated with pesticide residues often die leading to a decrease in fish yields and losses of traditional fishing grounds. As well, intoxication of fish, birds, cattle, and wild animals is common during spraying season. The death of birds and fish due in part to pesticides is most common, which has led to bans of certain pesticides in some places (Stevens, 1994). This makes people wonder if it?s even worth using pesticides.

Soil degradation is another big problem due to pesticides. After pesticides are being used, they stay in the soil in which they were used, which causes the soil to be less healthy. Nutrients are lost in the soils, and certain crops won?t be able to grow on that particular soil (Keen 1992). The increase use of pesticides led to more of a monoculture style of farming, which meant that crops weren?t rotated on the fields. This doesn?t leave enough time for the soil to get the nutrients it needs to be considered a ?good soil.? As well, some pesticides are ozone depleters, which contribute to the greenhouse effect. Apart from large-scale impacts, pesticides cause localized pollution as well. Disposal of unwanted containers threatens both the environment and health. Lack of hazardous awareness and of alternative disposal methods, means that agricultural areas are littered with empty containers. A survey in Paraguay revealed that 24 percent of farmers threw empty containers into streams, sewers, ditches, or drainage channels (Dinham, 1993). All of these are impacts that pesticides have on the environment. If they are so many detrimental effects to the environment, what then, motivates a farmer to use pesticides on their farm?

Pesticides have many advantages that motivate farmers to use them. Pesticides are an important part of the technology used to control plant pests. They can be extremely effective, which in turn leads to an increase in the production of crops (Cooley 1995, Dinham 1993). The more crops a farmer produces means the more money he/she can make off of them. Another factor which motivates farmers to use pesticides is the fact that they are easy to use. As soon as a farmer realizes that they are fairly simple to use, it will increase the chances they will use them more often. As well, pesticides permit cultivation of crops in otherwise unsuitable areas. If farmers have land that is unsuitable, they see that the use of pesticides will allow them to cultivate on those fields. But the greatest motivation factor that farmers have is the profits they gain from pesticides. The investment of pest control by pesticides has been shown to provide significant economic benefits (Pimentel, 1993). Pesticides provide the producer in North America with a return of three to five dollars for every dollar invested (Reuveni, 1995). This is more of a profit that a farmer would receive if he/she didn?t use pesticides. But what has led to this rise in the use of pesticides?

Pesticide use has increased since the early 1900?s. There have been many theories that have come about of why there was a rise in pesticide use. Pesticides contribute to our ability to feed a rapidly expanding world population. Every year there are more and more people on this earth and we need more and more food to feed everyone. Pesticides produce large quantities of crops in a short time-span. In the past 100 hundred years, larger needs for food have been met primarily by increasing productivity per unit of land. It has been estimated that with the use of pesticides, yields are thirty to thirty-five percent more on average than they would be with the presence of pests (Hussey, 1985). Pests cause severe economic losses for growers and widespread food shortages, starvation, and disintegration of human communities. It is essential for humans to take action to limit the destruction of food crops by pests. Crop pests must be controlled to protect the security of the world food supply. Pesticides also protect humans against insect-borne diseases. The single most beneficial use of pesticides has been the protection of more than five hundred million people from malaria (Reuveni, 1995). During the 1940?s to the 1960?s, great reliance was placed on pesticides to control insects, mites, and fungi. Pesticides were so effective, however, the growers relied on them to the exclusion of other pest control practices. This led to the overuse of pesticides.

The use of pesticides led to changes in land use by farmers. Farmers have moved more towards a monoculture style of farming (Dinham, 1993). With pesticides, farmers are able to produce massive amounts of a single crop and profit off of it. The process of crop rotation is nullified because of the technique of only cropping one crop. As well, farmers began using pesticides on only a certain percentage of its crops. As long as the farmer separates his/her crops in an appropriate manner, all of the crops are protected from pests. For example, a farmer may put pesticides on only the first ten percent of its crops, and leave the next 10 percent pesticide free, then put pesticides on the next 10 percent and so on. Techniques such as these have been done to reduce the amount of pesticides that are used. Lots of places have had concerns with the increase in pesticide use and have tried to decrease the amount used like the Philippines.

The use of pesticides in Philippine agriculture continues to increase despite the adoption and promotion of the Integrated Pest Management. Insecticides constitute approximately fifty-five percent, fungicides twenty-two percent, and herbicide sixteen percent of the pesticides used in the country for rice, corn, vegetables, and plantation crops (Pingali, 1995). The extensive use of pesticides and the risks they pose to human health and the environment are now the focus of national concern and interest. The main environmental problems they are concerned about are ground and surface water pollution, resistance of pests to pesticides, and the impact it has on non-target organisms. They have tried to solve these problems by having stricter regulations on the use of pesticides. Also they have been developing more practical, economical, and less environmentally disruptive pest control methods instead of using pesticides. They have also had continuous development and conduct of research and giving training to researchers, extension workers, and farmers (Pingali, 1995).

Despite these government efforts, however, facilities and trained technical personnel are still inadequate to effectively deal with pesticide related problems and concerns. The country needs to further upgrade its existing laboratory facilities, provide adequate funding for their efficient operation, continuously provide manpower development and promote more conscious efforts between the government and the private sector toward minimizing pesticide hazards. Even with all these government policies in place, the use of chemical pesticides still provides the main line of defense against pests in crop production activities in the Philippines. Despite the availability of alternatives to pesticide use, the use of them still has been increasing. Pest protection is quite critical in a country like the Philippines where agriculture is its major industry, accounting for thirty-six of its export earnings, and twenty-eight percent of its Gross National Product (Davis, 1993). Furthermore, around forty-three percent of the country?s total land area of approximately thirty million hectares is devoted to agricultural production, providing livelihood for approximately seventy percent of its population (Davis, 1993). The use of pesticides is expected to continue to be a significant component in Philippine agriculture. But, it seems inevitable that less pesticide will be used in the future.

Research for the future is being done to decrease the use of pesticides. Greater reliance will be placed on biologically based technology. It has been estimated that pesticide use could be reduced by thirty-five to fifty percent in the United States without lowering crop yields or causing an increase in the price of food (Reuveni, 1995). Some techniques that people are thinking of to protect plants against pests without using pesticides are improving the defenses of the plant and by reducing the destructiveness of the pest. Both these techniques could be done if enough effort and thought is put into them. Biotechnology has been increasing tremendously lately and it seems it will be a big part of agriculture in the near future.

It looks like there is going to be a decline in the use of pesticides. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Well, pesticides create many environmental problems such as pest resistance, water pollution etc. and with the decrease use, it will benefit the environment. But without pesticides we could not produce certain crops economically or meet present world food demands. Pesticides create increase in profits and in production and eliminate unwanted pests. These are the reasons that motivate farmers to keep using pesticides. So the answer to that question can go either way. The Philippines shows how they are trying to decrease the use of pesticides but yet the use of them keeps increasing. It seems though we are headed towards the elimination of pesticides and an increase in biotechnology. All of this suggests that it is essential that careful assessment be made to evaluate the benefits and risks of pesticides.

Cooley, Daniel. 1995. ?Estimating the risks and Benefits of Pesticides Considering the Agroecosystems and Integrated Pest Management in the Use of EBCD Fungicides on Apples,? in Environmental Pollution. Great Britain, Elsevier Science Publishers, pp. 315-320.

Crissman, Charles. 1998. Economic, Environmental, and Health Tradeoffs in Agriculture. Norwell, Massachusetts, Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Davis, Corazon. 1993. ?Environmental Concerns About Pesticide Use in Philippine Agriculture,? in The Science of the Total Environment. Amsterdam, Elsevier Science Publishers, pp. 293-304.

Dinham, Barbara. 1993. The Pesticide Hazard. Highlands, New Jersey, Zed Books Publishers.

Hussey, N.W. 1985. History of Biological Control in Protected Culture. Poole, Dorset, Blandford Press.

Keen, N. 1992. Pesticides. New York, New York, Dickinson Publishers.

Pimentel, David. 1993. ?Environmental and Economic Effects of reducing Pesticide Use in Agriculture,? in Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment. Amsterdam, Elsevier Science Publishers, pp. 273-288.

Pingali, Prabhu and Roger, Pierre. 1995. Impact of Pesticides on Farmer Health and the Rice Environment. Norwell, Massachusetts, Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Reuveni, Reuven. 1995. Novel Approaches to Integrated Pest Management. Haifa, Israel, Lewis Publishers.

Stevens, William. 1994. Impact of Pesticides on Farmer Health. Oxford, Oxford

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Pesticides Essay Research Paper Should we be

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Should we be concerned with the extensive use of pesticides by farmers? I believe we should be aware of the consequences of pesticide use. The more we are exposed to pesticides, the greater the risk there is to the environment and our health. They are responsible for many environmental problems such as water pollution, soil degradation, and insect resistance. I will look at all the environmental impacts caused by pesticide use. But what led to the rise of the use of pesticides? Tremendous increase in crop production, profits, and pest control due to pesticide use are some of the reasons for this increase. There are many theories, which explain the rise of pesticides, and the influence pesticides have had on land use decisions by farmers. I will discuss several theories that try and explain this. Farmers have moved towards different farming techniques such as massive production of a single crop instead of the traditional style of producing several crops. Techniques such as these have resulted from the use of pesticides. An example of all this is in the Philippines. The government in the Philippines has given considerable attention to the environmental and health impacts of pesticides and has implemented strategies to decrease the impacts. Many empirical studies have been done on the Philippines, and I will look at several of these. Lastly, I will discuss the future research of pesticides and how we are looking towards a decrease in the use of pesticides, and how the amount of pesticide use has decreased in the past twenty years. But firstly, I will explain what a pesticide is.

What exactly is a pesticide? Well, pesticides are chemicals that kill or suppress pests. There are three main types of pesticides: herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides. Herbicides are the type of pesticides that act against weeds, while insecticides act against insects, and fungicides act against fungi (Reuveni, 1995). There are two classes of pesticides, organic and inorganic. All pesticides are toxic and have some effect on the environment and our health. We are still looking for the ideal pesticide, which targets only the insects we want, and is harmless to the environment. Pesticides have provided highly effective and relatively easy control of plant pests for the past one hundred years. The first major commercial pesticides were an arsenic compound introduced in 1867 to control insects and a copper-based preparation in 1885 to control fungi attacking grapes (Reuveni, 1995). However, a rapid increase in their use began in the 1930?s and 1940?s following the discovery of synthetic organic chemicals, such as DDT and thiram. With the discovery of these pesticides, farmers began using them more often. We have been familiar with pesticides for a long time now, and have discovered many benefits a long with many environmental impacts that come along with the use of pesticides.

Chemical pesticides cause widespread environmental problems and are the only toxic chemical deliberately introduced into the environment. Some problems include insect resistance, water pollution, destruction of non-target animals, soil degradation, ozone depletion, and localized pollution (Cooley, 1&95; Crissman, 1&98; Dinham, 1&93; Reuveni, 1995). Over-use of pesticides creates insect resistance, destruction of natural enemies, and a resurgence of pest species leading in turn to increased spaying, which is also known as ?the pesticide treadmill? (Dinham, 1993). A good example of this is in Gezira where they are dependent on cotton production. After World War II, pesticides were introduced in Gezira and the pesticide use increased steadily after the 1940?s. By 1976, pesticide use had reached 2,500 tonnes a year. Cotton production costs quadrupled over ten years, while yields fell to the same yields obtained before World War II. After a while, yields ended up being the same because of the pest resistance. The only change in Gezira from World War II till the early 1980?s were the widespread introduction of pesticides. The amount of cotton they produced remained about the same (Dinham, 1993). This shows that over-use of pesticides will take away from the advantages of using pesticides.

Another environmental impact caused by pesticides is water pollution. Residues from the pesticides leach into the water, which are harmful to anything in the water. A study was done for Lake Ichkeul in the North of Tunisia. This is an important bird sanctuary and a unique ecosystem because it is connected to the sea by a narrow channel, and renewal of its waters is rather slow. It also collects water from many small rivers, which cross a densely cultivated area, in which lager amounts of pesticides are used. The study showed after examining the lake sediments and bird?s eggs that they contained organochlorine and PCB residues (Cooley, 1995). Residues of pesticides have been found in many other bodies of water. Along with this, a pesticide hasn?t been found yet to target only the insect we want it to destroy. So, it not only kills pests but some other non-target animals as well. Fish in the waters that are contaminated with pesticide residues often die leading to a decrease in fish yields and losses of traditional fishing grounds. As well, intoxication of fish, birds, cattle, and wild animals is common during spraying season. The death of birds and fish due in part to pesticides is most common, which has led to bans of certain pesticides in some places (Stevens, 1994). This makes people wonder if it?s even worth using pesticides.

Soil degradation is another big problem due to pesticides. After pesticides are being used, they stay in the soil in which they were used, which causes the soil to be less healthy. Nutrients are lost in the soils, and certain crops won?t be able to grow on that particular soil (Keen 1992). The increase use of pesticides led to more of a monoculture style of farming, which meant that crops weren?t rotated on the fields. This doesn?t leave enough time for the soil to get the nutrients it needs to be considered a ?good soil.? As well, some pesticides are ozone depleters, which contribute to the greenhouse effect. Apart from large-scale impacts, pesticides cause localized pollution as well. Disposal of unwanted containers threatens both the environment and health. Lack of hazardous awareness and of alternative disposal methods, means that agricultural areas are littered with empty containers. A survey in Paraguay revealed that 24 percent of farmers threw empty containers into streams, sewers, ditches, or drainage channels (Dinham, 1993). All of these are impacts that pesticides have on the environment. If they are so many detrimental effects to the environment, what then, motivates a farmer to use pesticides on their farm?

Pesticides have many advantages that motivate farmers to use them. Pesticides are an important part of the technology used to control plant pests. They can be extremely effective, which in turn leads to an increase in the production of crops (Cooley 1995, Dinham 1993). The more crops a farmer produces means the more money he/she can make off of them. Another factor which motivates farmers to use pesticides is the fact that they are easy to use. As soon as a farmer realizes that they are fairly simple to use, it will increase the chances they will use them more often. As well, pesticides permit cultivation of crops in otherwise unsuitable areas. If farmers have land that is unsuitable, they see that the use of pesticides will allow them to cultivate on those fields. But the greatest motivation factor that farmers have is the profits they gain from pesticides. The investment of pest control by pesticides has been shown to provide significant economic benefits (Pimentel, 1993). Pesticides provide the producer in North America with a return of three to five dollars for every dollar invested (Reuveni, 1995). This is more of a profit that a farmer would receive if he/she didn?t use pesticides. But what has led to this rise in the use of pesticides?

Pesticide use has increased since the early 1900?s. There have been many theories that have come about of why there was a rise in pesticide use. Pesticides contribute to our ability to feed a rapidly expanding world population. Every year there are more and more people on this earth and we need more and more food to feed everyone. Pesticides produce large quantities of crops in a short time-span. In the past 100 hundred years, larger needs for food have been met primarily by increasing productivity per unit of land. It has been estimated that with the use of pesticides, yields are thirty to thirty-five percent more on average than they would be with the presence of pests (Hussey, 1985). Pests cause severe economic losses for growers and widespread food shortages, starvation, and disintegration of human communities. It is essential for humans to take action to limit the destruction of food crops by pests. Crop pests must be controlled to protect the security of the world food supply. Pesticides also protect humans against insect-borne diseases. The single most beneficial use of pesticides has been the protection of more than five hundred million people from malaria (Reuveni, 1995). During the 1940?s to the 1960?s, great reliance was placed on pesticides to control insects, mites, and fungi. Pesticides were so effective, however, the growers relied on them to the exclusion of other pest control practices. This led to the overuse of pesticides.

The use of pesticides led to changes in land use by farmers. Farmers have moved more towards a monoculture style of farming (Dinham, 1993). With pesticides, farmers are able to produce massive amounts of a single crop and profit off of it. The process of crop rotation is nullified because of the technique of only cropping one crop. As well, farmers began using pesticides on only a certain percentage of its crops. As long as the farmer separates his/her crops in an appropriate manner, all of the crops are protected from pests. For example, a farmer may put pesticides on only the first ten percent of its crops, and leave the next 10 percent pesticide free, then put pesticides on the next 10 percent and so on. Techniques such as these have been done to reduce the amount of pesticides that are used. Lots of places have had concerns with the increase in pesticide use and have tried to decrease the amount used like the Philippines.

The use of pesticides in Philippine agriculture continues to increase despite the adoption and promotion of the Integrated Pest Management. Insecticides constitute approximately fifty-five percent, fungicides twenty-two percent, and herbicide sixteen percent of the pesticides used in the country for rice, corn, vegetables, and plantation crops (Pingali, 1995). The extensive use of pesticides and the risks they pose to human health and the environment are now the focus of national concern and interest. The main environmental problems they are concerned about are ground and surface water pollution, resistance of pests to pesticides, and the impact it has on non-target organisms. They have tried to solve these problems by having stricter regulations on the use of pesticides. Also they have been developing more practical, economical, and less environmentally disruptive pest control methods instead of using pesticides. They have also had continuous development and conduct of research and giving training to researchers, extension workers, and farmers (Pingali, 1995).

Despite these government efforts, however, facilities and trained technical personnel are still inadequate to effectively deal with pesticide related problems and concerns. The country needs to further upgrade its existing laboratory facilities, provide adequate funding for their efficient operation, continuously provide manpower development and promote more conscious efforts between the government and the private sector toward minimizing pesticide hazards. Even with all these government policies in place, the use of chemical pesticides still provides the main line of defense against pests in crop production activities in the Philippines. Despite the availability of alternatives to pesticide use, the use of them still has been increasing. Pest protection is quite critical in a country like the Philippines where agriculture is its major industry, accounting for thirty-six of its export earnings, and twenty-eight percent of its Gross National Product (Davis, 1993). Furthermore, around forty-three percent of the country?s total land area of approximately thirty million hectares is devoted to agricultural production, providing livelihood for approximately seventy percent of its population (Davis, 1993). The use of pesticides is expected to continue to be a significant component in Philippine agriculture. But, it seems inevitable that less pesticide will be used in the future.

Research for the future is being done to decrease the use of pesticides. Greater reliance will be placed on biologically based technology. It has been estimated that pesticide use could be reduced by thirty-five to fifty percent in the United States without lowering crop yields or causing an increase in the price of food (Reuveni, 1995). Some techniques that people are thinking of to protect plants against pests without using pesticides are improving the defenses of the plant and by reducing the destructiveness of the pest. Both these techniques could be done if enough effort and thought is put into them. Biotechnology has been increasing tremendously lately and it seems it will be a big part of agriculture in the near future.

It looks like there is going to be a decline in the use of pesticides. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Well, pesticides create many environmental problems such as pest resistance, water pollution etc. and with the decrease use, it will benefit the environment. But without pesticides we could not produce certain crops economically or meet present world food demands. Pesticides create increase in profits and in production and eliminate unwanted pests. These are the reasons that motivate farmers to keep using pesticides. So the answer to that question can go either way. The Philippines shows how they are trying to decrease the use of pesticides but yet the use of them keeps increasing. It seems though we are headed towards the elimination of pesticides and an increase in biotechnology. All of this suggests that it is essential that careful assessment be made to evaluate the benefits and risks of pesticides.

Cooley, Daniel. 1995. ?Estimating the risks and Benefits of Pesticides Considering the Agroecosystems and Integrated Pest Management in the Use of EBCD Fungicides on Apples,? in Environmental Pollution. Great Britain, Elsevier Science Publishers, pp. 315-320.

Crissman, Charles. 1998. Economic, Environmental, and Health Tradeoffs in Agriculture. Norwell, Massachusetts, Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Davis, Corazon. 1993. ?Environmental Concerns About Pesticide Use in Philippine Agriculture,? in The Science of the Total Environment. Amsterdam, Elsevier Science Publishers, pp. 293-304.

Dinham, Barbara. 1993. The Pesticide Hazard. Highlands, New Jersey, Zed Books Publishers.

Hussey, N.W. 1985. History of Biological Control in Protected Culture. Poole, Dorset, Blandford Press.

Keen, N. 1992. Pesticides. New York, New York, Dickinson Publishers.

Pimentel, David. 1993. ?Environmental and Economic Effects of reducing Pesticide Use in Agriculture,? in Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment. Amsterdam, Elsevier Science Publishers, pp. 273-288.

Pingali, Prabhu and Roger, Pierre. 1995. Impact of Pesticides on Farmer Health and the Rice Environment. Norwell, Massachusetts, Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Reuveni, Reuven. 1995. Novel Approaches to Integrated Pest Management. Haifa, Israel, Lewis Publishers.

Stevens, William. 1994. Impact of Pesticides on Farmer Health. Oxford, Oxford

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