Hartlep 1 Hollyn Hartlep Instructor Lewis ENC1102.

701F12 9 December 2012 Even Healthy Food May Be Contaminated The use of pesticides throughout the world as a remedy to ward off insects may turn out to be more harmful than beneficial. According to the EPA, a pesticide is “any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest.” Herbicides, fungicides, and various other substances used to control pests also fall under this realm. The carcinogenic residues from these chemicals regularly ingested by humans not only build up over time in their systems, but are alarmingly dangerous to the laborers who are required to use them (Eddleston and Bateman 147). Eddleston and Bateman note that “300,000 people die each year from pesticide poisoning in the rural developing world”, a large portion of them being from countries that supply the U.S. with imported produce (147). Although the mere consumers of these products may not show immediate signs of poisoning, studies show that over a long period of time their consumption can cause birth defects, nerve damage and cancer (EPA). Because of the health risks associated with the consumption of pesticide contaminated foods and the grave consequences they have upon people using them in the field, pesticide use in the United States should be more vehemently regulated, and eventually reduced to minimal use. Until the 1940s farmers controlled pests without the need for pesticides (Muir). The Native Americans of North America used the “Three Sister Method”, a savvy and pragmatic approach that groups beans, squash, and corn together so they each benefit each other by serving as natural pesticides and fertilizers. Horticulturist Frank Hyman contends that the beans fix

and Rodenticide Act. Fungicide. particularly on birds (Jameson). The EPA confirms that The Federal Insecticide. or DDT. In 1972 the United States government banned its use. They have been responsible for . studies showed that DDT was toxic to not only insects. Later. and are toxic to the nervous system. who won a Nobel Prize for its discovery. North Carolina (Hyman 67). strawberries. the book Silent Spring. It was found to accumulate in organisms’ fatty tissues. Organochlorine. Hyman has successfully developed his own modification of the “Three Sister Method” by planting raspberries. also known as FIFRA. He is just one of many organic farmers who shows that it is possible in this modern day to produce healthy crops without the use of pesticides. while the corn stalk serves as a trellis.Hartlep 2 nitrogen for the group. discovered in 1939 by Swiss chemist Paul Muller. The first widely used pesticide was dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane. now regulates all pesticides use. but showed a low toxicity to humans. and was found in very high concentrations particularly in human breast milk. Ten years before DDT was banned. Organophosphate. Since the use of DDT other pesticides have been introduced and many more have been banned (EPA). and the leaves of the squash shade out weeds and its hairy vines deter pests (65). A method such as this eliminates the need for chemical pesticides because the combination of plants naturally deters pests. and asparagus in conjunction in his hometown Durham. DDT was promoted as a miracle chemical because it was toxic to a wide range of insect pests. and Pyrethroid pesticides are the chemical pesticides currently used in the United States. According to the EPA a number of pesticides from these groups that have not yet been banned are known to disrupt regular neurotransmitter functioning. by Rachel Carson. while many developing countries have not yet realized the danger it poses and continue its use (Muir 1). but also to fish. brought the issue of pesticides to the public eye by documenting the detrimental effects of pesticides on the environment. Carbamate.

but also export produce (Dobson and Cooper 2). U. the demand for food is increasing accordingly. and increase of . While the negative effects of pesticides are numerous. In an effort to reduce the amount of chemically contaminated fruits and vegetables being produced.” A prior country of famine.S. but there is still room for improvement. The United States is on the right track to bettering the health of its citizens by implementing stricter laws on pesticide use. The ease of use of pesticides makes them an economically beneficial choice for companies and for consumers because while the price of fruits and vegetables for the consumer decrease with their use. If consumers substantially stop buying chemically contaminated foods. for example. Sperow and Brown observe that for a four person family to switch their diet from non-organic to all-organic they would go from paying $129 a week for groceries to paying $192. “With the use of pesticides farmers are able to increase crop production and produce fruits and vegetables that are free of insects and blemishes (EPA). citizens. more harmful chemicals can be banned by the FIFRA. With a little more demand from U. bringing attention to the pesticide-using companies and the government. As the world population is exponentially growing.S. and facilitated larger crop productions. they will pay for themselves in the long run.S. has quadrupled its grain production since 1951. citizens for less toxic residues on crops. citizens can lessen their consumption of non-organic foods. India. there will be a lesser demand for the foods.Hartlep 3 banning many Organochlorine Insecticides (DDT being a member of this group) (EPA). These economic and production efficient benefits have increased the use of pesticides. to make more natural and chemical-free foods available for U. The EPA comments that. the companies gain more profit because of the greater demand (Gareth Edwards-Jones). and is able to not only feed its population. Although organic foods are more expensive than the alternative. making pesticide use economically beneficial (Conant). they do have their benefits.

S. that alone would make a difference in advancing the production of organic crops.000 a year is $56. he or she should switch from a non-organic diet to purchasing as many organic alternative foods as possible. The American Cancer Society notes that the average monthly supply of a cancer drug prescription in 2006 was $1. lower the demand for pesticide contaminated foods.276 spent on buying organic food over non-organic. Creating an organic garden is the safest and most economical way to be sure that foods are coming from a safe source. citizen were to switch a portion of his or her fruit and vegetable consumption to organic.Hartlep 4 49% (21). For a person to optimally care for his or her health.000 a month. and decreasing that of non-organic ones. This will not only improve his or her wellness. If every U. which does not constitute all of the medical costs associated with cancer treatment (The American Cancer Society). signing petitions to ban the use of certain pesticides is an effective approach to lessening their use. While consuming organic foods is not the only way to prevent cancer. nearby community gardens are a great alternative to at-home gardening. Over a year’s time that adds up to and extra $3. That’s $120. This may seem like a lot. In housing conditions where gardens are unavailable. Neal Barnard et al.600. $60. in lessening the number of non-organic foods being purchased. while today some prescriptions cost as much as $10. of The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine reports that it is one way to significantly lower the risk (21). one of the risks associated with consuming pesticide-ridden foods. Even at half of that price. but when compared to the cost of treating cancer. the cost is miniscule. Dr.000 on prescriptions alone. Additionally. Aside from buying organic. By simply making a whitehouse. but will also. or .724 more than a person would spend by buying organic foods in that year.gov account any citizen is able to sign these petitions online. other methods such as home organic gardening and signing petitions received by the government encourage the diminished use of harmful chemical pesticides.

birth defects. One current available petition concerning the farm pesticide Neonicotinoid used on crops throughout the United States is available to sign at http://www.causes.477) . a major reduction in harmful pesticide use can be achieved. The toxic chemical residue found on fruits and vegetables regularly ingested by the world population accumulate in fat cells in their body. Alternative methods of farming without the use of pesticides are available and should be employed on the large government scale and on the small at-home gardening scale. and sterility (Matthews). growing their own produce and making their voices heard by the government. miscarriages. All citizens can play a part in the end goal of eliminating harmful pesticide use by purchasing organic. causing a number of health problems such as cancer.whitehouse. It is unfair for human beings to live in a world where the most basic and healthy foods which were once cultivated by hand are now tainted with chemicals. Purchasing safe fruits and vegetables is a long-term health investment.Hartlep 5 even create their own petition at https://petitions. and unhealthy for human consumption.gov/. By signing government received petitions and planting organic fruits and vegetables. (Word Count: 1.com/causes/430648-bee-the-change/actions/1686797.

Web.1 (2005): 20-26.lib. 2012." Journal of Food Distribution Reasearch 36. Environmental Protection Agency.lib. Web. 8 Dec. Gabrielle TurnerMcGrievy.planetcareers. Wilson). 7 Dec." Horticulture 107. "Examining the Cost of an All-Organic Diet.usf..Hartlep 6 Works Cited "About Pestcides. Patricia Bertron.umn. 2012.htm>.edu/eds/ebookviewer/ebook/nlebk_74063_AN ?sid=d78d1603-9e3e-4c07-9fd0-d021eafac200@sessionmgr114&vid=2>. Barnard.ezproxy.ebscohost. Jerry. Brown. Biological & Agricultural Index Plus (H. n.3 (2010): 65-67.W.gov/pesticides/about/index. The American Cancer Society. Healthy Eating for Life to Prevent and Treat Cancer. "The Cost of Cancer Treatment. Neal D. <http://www. 2012.epa. Academic Search Premier.pdf>. 09 May 2012. "The Benefits of Pesticides to Mankind and the Environment. <http://ehis. 11 Nov.usf. Web. 13 Nov. Frank." EPA. 07 Dec. Cheryl.ebscohost." The Cost of Cancer Treatment. Jennifer Keller." Natural Resources Institute (2007): 1-12. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Kristine Kieswer. 2012. 2012. <http://www. <http://www. <http://ehis. Amy Lanou. Web.org/treatment/findingandpayingfortreatment/managinginsuranceissue s/the-cost-of-cancer-treatment>. "Three Sisters. New York: Wiley. <http://ageconsearch. 28 Nov.org/legislative/PesticideBenefitsResearchPaper. Hyman. Web.d. and Hans Dobson.pdf>. and Mark Sperow.edu/bitstream/26759/1/36010020.cancer. 2002. 2012. Martin Root.ezproxy. Suzanne Havala.edu/eds/detail?vid=5&hid=101&sid=8702f5f3 -bb5d-4c8c-afcc- . Cooper.com. Web.com. and Brenda Davis.

Patricia. <http://reader. ScienceDirect. Nicholas. "Specific Substances: Pesticides. G. Michael. <http://reader.p.edu/~muirp/pesthist.com/eds/detail?vid=6&hid=114&sid=78950ad7-29ca-4607-a96d5e81a30e50e5%40sessionmgr104&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#db=edselp &AN=S1357303911003550> Muir." Medicine 40.d. University of South Florida Libraries.com. Web. 2006. < http://ehis. Web. Web.com. 2012. 2012.eblib. 2008. Eddleston.usf." Oregon State University. n. 18 Nov. and Bateman D. 2012. 2012. 2012.lib.oregonstate. 27 Nov.: London : Bloomsbury Publishing. Pesticides: Health. Web. "A History of Pesticide Use.lib.ezproxy.htm>.eblib..): 147-150.edu/(S(gblhpc0nkr0afhfdpc33xjmj))/Reader. <http://people. Oxford: Blackwell Pub.asp x?p=284269&o=875&u=sjfIUFXwkoVxIybfHLubWQ%3d%3d&t=1352592918&h=EE2 7D2345AE6E2260290F8C904C01292C4911256&s=14753129&ut=2825&pg=1&r=img &c=-1&pat=n>.ezproxy. 22 Oct. A..Hartlep 7 191892710781%40sessionmgr113&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#db=bai&A N=507010500> Jameson.edu/(S(2hynhbkckuyq3vg25iqhcxis))/Reader. University of South Florida Libraries Catalog.aspx ?p=883413&o=875&u=sjfIUFXwkoVxIybfHLubWQ%3d%3d&t=1354036180&h=2D89 29F3E4C0A07FFCCA76665FCA48E0B6F7D9CD&s=14986280&ut=2825&pg=1&r=i mg&c=-1&pat=n> Matthews. 15 Apr.usf. Conor Mark. Silent Spring Revisited [Electronic Resource] .Poisoning: Part 2 of 2 (n. Safety and the Environment. 11 Nov.ebscohost. . 2012. 10 Nov. 2012.

N. Unsworth.gov/pesticides/food/risks. <http://www. International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.. ." Agrochemicals.sustainabletable. 2009." Sustainable Table. Web. n.epa. 10 May 2010. Environmental Protection Agency.d. John. 4 Dec.php?option=com_sobi2&sobi2Task=sobi2Details &catid=3&sobi2Id=31>. Web. Web.htm>. 2012." EPA.Hartlep 8 "Pesticides and Food: Health Problems Pesticides May Pose. 2012. <http://www.org/issues/pesticides/>.p.org/index. 11 Nov. <http://agrochemicals. "Pesticide Use on Factory Farms. 07 Dec.iupac. Sept. 2012. "History of Pesticide Use.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful