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Alternative Methods of Pest Control

Uploaded by Admin on Nov 28, 2001

It was early morning, October 23, 1999 in Taucamarca, Peru. A farmer had prepared the milk powder for the school children’s breakfast. He was unaware of the fact that he had accidentally mixed a small amount of a pesticide into the milk powder. The farmer intended to use the pesticide to kill rats and stray dogs. Meanwhile, the last stragglers arrived at school and a group of children brought in the bag of powder to make up their morning meal. The older children mixed the milk powder, and when it was ready, everyone sat down to eat. Half an hour later, as they started their lessons, some of the children began to vomit. Desks were pushed over as others had convulsions, and the small schoolroom became a nightmare.

Pesticide use is a significant global issue today because almost three million tons of pesticides are currently used worldwide, and wherever there is farming, there is pesticide use. Pesticides, which include bactericides, baits, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, lures, rodenticides, and repellents, are any substances or mixtures of substances used to destroy, suppress or alter the life cycle of any pest. They work by physically, chemically or biologically interfering with a pest’s metabolism or normal behavior. Pesticides also have an extensive history with the use of first-generation pesticides, derived from minerals and plants, dating back to 500 BC when sulfur was used to control pests. Second-generation pesticides, developed in laboratories, initiated from the creation of dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane. Helping to prevent malaria, it quickly became the world’s most popular pesticide. Entomologist Paul Mueller, its creator, even won a Nobel Prize for its discovery in 1948. Although some agricultural experts oppose implementation of alternative methods of pest control because food production will sharply decrease, alternative means of controlling pests should be implemented because food production will be maintained, drinking water safety will be improved, and overall human and animal health will be improved.

Of course, as information indicates, some agricultural experts oppose implementation of alternative methods of pest control because food production will sharply decrease. Mike Holcombe, author of the article entitled “Methyl Bromide—a Not-So-Slow March into Oblivion,” suggests that many people see the loss of pesticides as devastating, and there are no one-for-one replacements for them. He continues by stating that Methyl Bromide was given a congressional extension to be phased out in the year 2005 instead of 2001 because agriculture in the United States, the breadbasket to...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   11/28/2001

Category:   Science And Technology

Length:   11 pages (2,544 words)

Views:   2303

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