SHOULD PESTICIDES BE BANNED?
According to Nobel Laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug, banning pesticides would inevitably lead to dramatically increased food costs and “… deadly serious food shortages.” Diseases transmitted by insects and rodents would become commonplace and pose serious health risks.
Our food is free of weevils and worms not because of technology, but because of pest control on farms and in food-processing plants, warehouses, grocery stores and homes. As a result of modern pest control programs, the Unites States experiences food losses of just 9% compared to 40-50% in underdeveloped countries.
Pest-borne diseases – malaria, yellow fever, typhus, typhoid and dysentery – were once feared by every American. Today, these deadly debilitating ailments are now only vague memories in the United States thanks to modern pest control programs.
However, a loss of pesticides would mean more outbreaks of diseases transmitted by common pests. Mosquitos alone can spread a variety of diseases including malaria, yellow fever and encephalitis. The housefly harbors many kinds of disease-causing organisms and may transmit more than 65 human and animal disease organisms. Cockroaches can carry at least three kinds of disease-causing bacteria.
We are no longer forced to permanently share our homes with cockroaches, bed bugs, rats, mice, ants, moths and silverfish. We can now protect our homes from the devastating attack of termites and other wood-destroying organisms because of advances in modern pest control.
A loss of pesticides would mean more cockroaches in restaurants, more pharaoh ants in hospitals and more rat bites in homes. Without pesticides, there may be no practical way to stop termites from destroying homes and other structures.
In short, the loss of pesticides would mean a return to a yesteryear when certain bugs were an unpleasant fact of life and pest-transmitted diseases ravaged the country.