News from CRIS: What's the Risk? Pesticide Residues

May 11, 2022

What are pesticides?

A pesticide is a broad term used to describe natural and synthetic chemicals (remember, everything is a chemical!) that can harm or kill organisms, including insects, invasive weeds, fungi, rodents, bacteria, and more.

What is a pesticide’s purpose? Are they only used to grow food?

Pesticides have a wide range of purposes. While they are most commonly associated with agricultural use in the prevention of weeds, insects, and more, we also use pesticides in our daily lives.

Disinfectant cleaning products, such as bleach, are pesticides because they kill organisms like bacteria. Home-use insect control products, such as wasp and hornet killers, are also pesticides because they kill insects.
In this post, we’re going to focus on pesticides in agricultural use, but it’s important to note that we safely use pesticides regularly.

How are pesticides used in agricultural situations?

Pesticides are used in conventional and organic farming practices to control harmful insects, fungi, and other pests from causing crop damage.

Organic farming relies on naturally-derived pesticides and some synthetically-derived products like pheromones and other farming practices like crop rotation and limiting monoculture to protect crops (1,2).
Conventional farming relies on synthetically or naturally-derived pesticides and products to ensure crop growth and harvest. As well as other best practices like crop rotation.


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