Pesticides and Their Harmful Affects There are many important issues in the world regarding the environment and it’s affects on theaverage person.
Though, the one that hits closest to home, worldwide, is the trust that individualshave in the food that they consume. Yet pesticides are still found daily in foods all around theworld. Pesticides are toxins that are used by produce growers universally to control pests that candestroy crops. These toxins are being ingested by humans in the forms of fruits and vegetablesthat have remaining toxins on them.
How safe are these toxins to humans and what is being doneto safeguard the environment as well as the health of individuals? Does the average personconsume harmful amounts of poison at every meal? If the levels are unsafe, why is this problemcontinuing to get a blind eye from the people who are supposed to protect society? Thesequestions when asked only lead to more questions. Until things are done to change the systemsof pesticide usage universally, society can never be sure as to the long term effects on ourenvironment and what they are eating or giving to the future of our world, the children. In someforeign countries pesticides are used more frequently with legislative control than in the UnitedStates. In Mexico and South America, for example, many of the pesticides that the United Statesand Europe have banned, wind up being used on a majority of their produce crops. The largestproblem with this is that Europe and the United States import from South America for produceall of the time. What good does it do to ban harmful agricultural chemicals to be used ondomestically grown crops if crops in other countries are grown with these same harmfulchemicals, and are then allowed to be imported? Mexico and South America are the leadingsuppliers of produce for the earth’s population because their climate is very conducive to yeararound crops. Unfortunately those countries are also known for their large amount of insects ofall varieties.
These insects are steadily becoming more and more immune to toxins that aresprayed on crops. More than five hundred insects, one hundred and fifty plant diseases and twohundred and seventy weeds are now resistant to pesticides. Results are that U.S. growers as well,are steadily forced to apply more and stronger toxins.
As the amount and the strength of the toxinincreases, the immunity of the targeted insects to these toxins also increases. Total U.S. croplosses from insect damage has nearly doubled since 1945. Insecticide use during this same timehas increased tenfold.
This war will go on being waged until the game plan is changed. Theproduce export trade in some cities and countries constitutes the majority of their economy andthey will protect the resulting income at all costs. These places have very little legislation tocontrol chemical usage, and follow up on almost none of its effects.
Officials do not care how itaffects consumers, being adults or children. Even their own agricultural worker’s health is of noconcern. These officials only care about producing crops and exporting them with as littleoverhead as possible. The bottom line is, always has been, and always will be money. In VillaJuarez, Mexico, many children who work in the produce fields are coming down with mysteriousillnesses and some people in this region put the blame directly on those children’s contact withthe chemical acephate and other pesticides that are used in that area. The use of acephate isillegal in the United States, but is perfectly legal in Mexico.
Doctors in Juarez are treatingunusually high amounts of cancer and also fifty to eighty cases of chemical poisoning per weekin their agricultural workers. This continues to happen because the government and the growersdo not take these illnesses seriously; the workers are expendable. Growers in Culcan Valley,Mexico use chemicals to increase production of produce sold in the U.S.
every winter.Unfortunately, studies that were preformed by the Government Accounting office in Mexicoshowed that at least six pesticides that are illegal in the U.S. were still on the produce when itwas exported. Moving on to South America, in Chile there are no clear guidelines governing theuse of agricultural chemicals on produce crops. In the city of Rancaga, a large fruit growingregion, a study was done to check the risks that rural