Toxic Pesticides vs. Natural Non-Toxic Solutions
The mandate of the pesticide action network (pan) is to raise awareness about the dangers of harmful pesticides in use today on crops the world over.
The chemicals contained within certain of the various pesticides that are in common use today harm our planet and its inhabitants in a myriad of ways. The dangers of certain pesticides span a wide spectrum - some are known carcinogens, some have been known to cause birth defects, while other pesticides present a danger for pollinators and aquatic life.
To compound the problem, certain pesticides lead to the development of resistant strains of weeds and insects. Growers are often forced to create even more toxic pesticide cocktails to keep up. As the pesticide action network rightly points out:
The pesticide treadmill. Also referred to as the "Pesticide trap," farmers get caught on the treadmill as they are forced to use more and more — and increasingly toxic — chemicals to control insects and weeds that develop resistance to pesticides.
Furthermore, often times, pesticides destroy not just the harmful insects, but the beneficial ones as well - this upsets the balance of nature and the ecosystem.
As is rightly pointed out by pan, this approach is not sustainable. Chemicals that are cooked up in labs have the aim of destroying pests and many times anything else that happens to be living on the plant or in the soil rather than being solutions that work symbiotically with the environment!
Changing the paradigm to eliminate toxic crop additives that are both harmful to humans and animals happens one step at a time. We can contribute to change by finding natural and biotic alternatives for improving crop health. The focus needs to be on encouraging factors in the environment that contribute to plant health naturally, rather than simply attempting to destroy pests that are harmful to plants.
Presented below is a table that contains just some of the dangerous chemicals found within pesticides that are in regular use today on crops:
Chemical - description
Isoxaflutol: herbicide. Classified as 'likely to be carcinogenic to humans' - liver and thyroid cancer.
Bromoxynil: herbicide. Has been known to produce birth defects in rats. Birth defects included changes in bone formation in the skull and hydrocephaly.
Paraquat: herbicide. Linked with the development of parkinson's disease in humans.
Dicamba: herbicide. Corrosive. Can cause severe irritation to eyes. Enlargement of liver cells shown in mice.
Click here to go to the the pesticide action network website