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The Use Of Dangerous And Illegal Pesticides In America

3475 words - 14 pages

The Use of Dangerous and Illegal Pesticides in America

Pesticides are used all over the world to grow healthier and larger quantities of food. These pesticides have made it possible for countries to produce excess foods that they can export. The growers in America have been able to send aid to countries who face natural disasters and many other countries who face hunger for other reasons. Though the United States is highly capable of feeding itself it imports much of its food from all over the earth (U.S. Department of agriculture, 2001, p. 36).
Pesticides do a lot of good; however, they can also do a lot of harm. Researchers have found that pesticides can cause diseases, such as cancer. There are many issues with the intake of pesticide residues.
The EPA and the FDA have banned some pesticides. Yet, the pesticides that are banned in the United States are legal in some other countries and some of this food is then imported into the United States. To prevent intake of these dangerous chemicals there should be a ban placed on the import of food from countries that use pesticides that are illegal or not registered in the United States because many of these are extremely unhealthy, not all imported food is tested, and most food importation is not necessary.

Pesticides are used to "reduce pests of any sort" (Setting Tolerances for Residues in Foods, 2003). Pesticides in the United States must be registered with the EPA and FDA so that the government can regulate them. The EPA tests pesticides many ways to be sure they are safe before they are registered to go on foods. They are also going over the pesticides that are registered before 1984, when the new regulations came out ("EPA and Food Security," 2003). The Environmental Protection Agency has began to promote "safer pesticides and reducing risks through the re-registration process" ("EPA and Food Security," 2003).
The EPA uses a simple equation to assess whether or not a pesticide should be banned, "RISK = TOXICITY ¥ EXPOSURE" ("Assessing Health," 1999). This equation takes the factors that contribute to the dangers of pesticides and gives weather they are dangerous or not and at what levels they are dangerous.

There are many rules that go with importing foods. In the committee on foreign affairs hearing on the Circle of Poison a Mr. Wiles said that the United States requires that each food shipment have a list of all pesticides that have been applied to the crop.
The article "Protecting The Public From Pesticide Residues In Food," states that, "Manufactures must also provide information on residues found in many processed foods, such as apple juice or tomato paste" ("Protecting The Public From Pesticide Residues In Food," 2003).
In recent years, restrictions have been made to protect children. In 1999, the EPA decided that banning some pesticides for use on "kid's food" would be safer. So restrictions were placed on Organophosphate...

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