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24.11.2020 |

Pesticides in Our Food System

Insecticides, herbicides and fungicides, collectively known as pesticides, are chemicals that are used in agricultural pest control. Learn about their impacts on the environment and public health.

Our industrial agricultural system relies heavily on pesticides, which control weeds, kill insects and stave off fungi. More than 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides are applied annually to crops in the US, mostly in combination with seeds that are genetically engineered to withstand them. The escalating use of pesticides in recent decades has become a public health hazard, an environmental disaster and has even caused the evolution of “superweeds,” which require increasingly toxic pesticide formulas to kill. Consumers can help reduce the demand for products grown with pesticides by purchasing organic or low-spray produce and by joining organizations fighting against the powerful multi-billion-dollar pesticide industry.

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