Pesticides Essay

Pesticides Essay

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Pesticides: What are they?
      Pesticides are chemicals that are used to destroy pests. In the agricultural industry, pesticides are classified into two categories, carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic. A carcinogenic pesticide is a substance or agent producing or inciting cancer. Conversely, a non-carcinogenic pesticide is substance that does not produce or incite cancer. Most agricultural pesticides were registered in the 1950’s, with no standard regulations. The most considerable standard prior to the amendments of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) was, if a revocation of a pesticide occurred, would it have an impact on the prices or availability of food to the consumer? Today, the 208 pesticides used in the United States are regulated by the FFDCA. Bills such as, The Delaney Clause and The Food Quality Protection Act have modified and enforced pesticide regulations. Consumer concerns with the usage of pesticides in the agricultural industry, in regards to health factors, have overwhelmed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and demand they enforce pesticide regulations. With the assistance from other organizations such as the Senate Agriculture Committee (SAC), National Academy of Science (NAS), National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Consumers Union (CU), the EPA has made a notable progress. Throughout the years, consumers have pushed for research of the chemicals and substances that produce agricultural pesticides and what these pesticides do to our internal system. Congressman, James J. Delaney was also convinced that too many pesticide chemicals were found in foods. So in 1958, the House Select Committee investigated the use of chemicals in food products and amended section 409 of the FFDCA, in result creating The Delaney Clause.
      The bill The Delaney Clause was implemented to avoid carcinogenic pesticides in the United States food supply. According to Congressional Reports, the intent of the bill was to reduce public exposure to a wide range of health effects, including nerve damage, reproductive failure, birth defects, and cancer due to hazardous pesticides. Although these health effects have not been proven in human life form, it has been proven that some pesticides are carcinogenic in lab animals. However, the bill overlooked many aspects of the agricultural i...


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... from state to state. In return the states provided estimates on cropland and not on non-cropland, such as non-commercial pesticide usage. The 1992 Census of Agriculture Report noted, “for some states there were no published surveys or expert opinions from field specialists…pesticide use profiles were assumed to be the same as an adjacent state”. The report further concluded the data was sufficient “in spite of the limitations…the data would provide a useful overview of the regional patterns of pesticide use based on distributions of crops and the associated intensity of use by compound”. With the Food Quality Protection Act, projects now have a standard for researching, testing, or approving agricultural pesticides.
Many organizations have dedicated efforts in regulating the use of pesticides. This paper has defined the term pesticide, and identified possible health effects which carcinogenic pesticides induce in the human body. This paper has differentiated the many organizations and laws that regulate pesticides. Last but not least, this paper has also introduced the many ways the EPA, and other assisting organizations efforts to preserve a strict regulation of pesticide usage.

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