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Why Are Pesticides Used?

Farmers use pesticides to keep diseases, harmful insects, and rodents from infesting and damaging otherwise healthy crops. Without the use of pesticides, it is believed that production in every category of agricultural farming would fall and consumer prices would rise dramatically.

How Are Pesticides Regulated?

  • Pesticides are regulated by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA).
  • In order to be approved for use, pesticides must be subjected to more than 120 tests by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine their effects on our environment and its inhabitants.
  • Federal law requires all pesticide labels to include explicit directions for use and precautions to protect users, consumers, and the environment.

Is It Safe to Eat Produce Grown With The Use of Pesticides?

  • The office of the Assistant Surgeon General, the National Cancer Institute, the American Association for Pediatrics, and the USDA, among others, believe that the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables far outweigh any potential risks that might be involved with ingesting foods correctly treated with pesticides.
  • "Trying to avoid pesticide residues by avoiding fresh fruits and vegetables altogether is detrimental—not beneficial—to your health," says Edward Growth III, director of Technical Policy and Public Service for Consumers Union and publisher of Consumer Reports magazine.
  • Markon concurs with these scientists and the majority of health professionals who support these views.

For More Information:
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (search "pesticides")
University of California at Davis

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