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Questions about pesticides and food? We have answers.
You may not know it, but farmers care about the land as much as you do. Growing food is a demanding job with many challenges, and they need a variety of tools to meet those challenges. One of those tools getting a lot of attention is crop protection, which you may also know as pesticides. Whether used by farmers on conventional or organic farms, pesticides include any substance or mixture of substances intended to mitigate pests. That could be weeds, insects, fungi, larvae, slugs, or even bacteria! Farmers use pesticides as part of an integrated pest management program and apply them in the right place, at the right time, in the right amount.

Pesticides enable farmers to produce safe, quality foods at affordable prices. They also help farmers provide an abundance of nutritious, all-year-round foods, which are necessary for human health. Crop quantity and quality rely on crop protection. For example, a U.S. study estimated that without fungicides, yields of most fruit and vegetables would fall by 50-90 percent. Moreover, pesticides decrease exposure to food contaminated with harmful micro-organisms and naturally occurring toxins, preventing food-related illnesses.

Today’s pesticides are the result of many years of scientific research and testing. The crop protection industry and government agencies that regulate pesticides continually review and monitor them to identify any potential health effects.

Pesticides are tested extensively to ensure they do not pose unreasonable adverse effects to people, wildlife and the environment. Tests are undertaken to evaluate a range of potential adverse effects on both humans and the environment. They consider the potential for sensitive windows of exposure and vulnerable populations, ensuring high margins of safety. was launched by CropLife International to inform, explain and answer questions about pesticides and health. It discusses the necessity of pesticides, their testing and regulation, applicator and consumer safety, pesticide residues and the latest science regarding specific medical conditions most commonly and erroneously associated with pesticides, such as cancer, autism and Parkinson’s disease.
Street Beat with Leah McGrath