Pesticide use has made it possible to grow better crops of consistent quality because it stops pests from creating damage. Because many pesticides are chemically-based, however, this also means that the food chain has been exposed to items that are potentially harmful. What are the other pros and cons of pesticide use to consider? Here are some of the key points.
The Pros of Pesticide Use
1. It also prevents the spreading of disease.
Pesticides do more than just kill pests or prevent crop damage. They also help to prevent the spread of serious diseases that are spread by pests. Malaria, typhoid, and other fevers all affect millions of people every year.
2. It helps to protect our forests.
Pests do more than just destroy crops. They also destroy forests. By spraying sensitive areas with pesticides, old growth forests can continue to thrive. Without them, the pests would consume the forests, kill them off, and enhance wildfire risks annually during the hot Summer months.
3. It improves the economics of farming.
Let’s face it – if farmers can’t make a profit, especially if there are no subsidies available to them, then the world isn’t going to eat. Pesticides help to increase the chances of that profit happening.
The Cons of Pesticide Use
1. Pests evolve a resistance to the pesticides that are used.
It is believed that more than 500 different types of pests are resistant to at least one pesticide that is commonly used right now. That number has risen by 5x over the last 70 years. It may have prevented crop damage in the past, but farmers today are experiencing a greater amount of crop loss today than in the past even with pesticides because of resistance.
2. Most pesticide applications are ineffective.
Many pesticides are distributed through the air. This means less than 10% of the average application will even reach the crop and less than 1% will even hit the intended pest that needs to be removed.
3. It is poison.
More than 5 million people are sickened every year because of pesticide use. Even in th US, about 20,000 people every year are diagnosed with poisoning due to pesticides. The surrounding wildlife is also negatively impacted, which means the chances of better crop production come at a high cost.
The pros and cons of pesticide use show that this is something we all should consider very carefully. We all need to eat, but we also need to safely eat. Pesticide use may increase profits and stop disease, yet as a poison it still can kill.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.