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NCRR SEPA – Safe and Effective Pesticide Applications

This site is an educational information source for the awareness of pesticides use and applications.

What Are Pesticides?

Pesticides are compounds designed to eliminate unwanted organisms. They are classified according to the pests that they are supposed to eradicate. The most common types of pesticides are:

  • Herbicides
  • Fungicides
  • Insecticides

Insecticides are usually the most toxic. They work to disrupt the nervous systems of insects therefore they can be harmful to humans and other animals in large enough doses.

The Pesticide Treadmill

The problem with using pesticides on crops is that most farmers are forced to use higher and higher levels of pesticides on their crops as the pests that they are targeting develop a natural resistance to them. Superbugs and superweeds develop thanks to the continued use of pesticides and the ever-increasing volume of pesticides that farmers have to use leads to increased farming costs and high levels of toxicity in the environment.

Governments have had to take action to regulate the use of pesticides because of their toxic load on the environment. Federal laws that govern the use of pesticides are:

  • FIFRA, which regulates the proper use of pesticides
  • The Endangered Species Act which ensures that legal pesticides do not cause harm to endangered species
  • The Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) which limits the amount of pesticides that are allowed to seep into surrounding areas
  • The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act which sets the maximum allowed levels of residual pesticide particles on food.

Learn more about Pesticide regulations and industry information from Panna.org

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