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America Needs To Use Less Chemicals

1506 words - 7 pages

America Needs to Use Less Chemicals

How would you like going to the grocery store and finding out that prices on your regular food items have increased sharply? How would society react to a giant inflation on goods that are needed most? Would poverty and starvation increase with such inflation? These are all questions that would have to be answered if farm chemicals were to be banned throughout the world. Banning farm chemicals, such as herbicides and pesticides, would in turn lower the yields farmers would receive from their crops. It would also increase the demand for food, along with the price the consumer would have to pay. But, are there alternative ways of controlling weeds and ...view middle of the document...

Nick Christians, an Iowa State University researcher, has discovered corn gluten to be the first "natural" weed killer and fertilizer. Corn gluten is a protein substance extracted from corn during processing. Researchers have found that the corn gluten extract has the potential to interfere with germination in crabgrass and other noxious weeds. On the other hand, "the natural corn byproduct is less effective and more expensive than synthetic weed killers," noted Christians (28). So in fact, chemicals may be the best and safest alternative for several reasons. Researcher's also found that inorganic pesticides reduce risks of Salmonella, which is the most common type of food poisoning. In addition, they reduce the risks of Botulism and of the decay of food. As you can tell, the most effective and efficient alternative for the farmer and society is to use synthetic chemicals and fertilizers.

In the course of recent years, society has been known to blame environmental concerns on the amount and ways that chemicals are used. Society's main concern with the use of farm chemicals is the risk of food contamination. A Stanford University study shows that the risk for any herbicide or pesticide residue on any agricultural product for human consumption, has been limited to a undetectable trace (171). Currently both the EPA and the farm chemical manufacturers conduct tests to insure that the use of chemicals will not cause any health risks to people in our society. In addition, farm chemicals are not the only concern of consumers today. The turf and lawn industries use over 24,000 different varieties of chemicals in an attempt to maintain lawns and golf courses to the standards of the society. The EPA in recent years has made little progress in reassessing the health risks of these 24,000 different pesticides that have been in use for decades. Furthermore, this reassessment does not make progress on the thirty-two most used and dangerous lawn and turf chemicals on the market. It is a proven fact that 6.4 percent of the United States community drinking water wells, and 2.5 percent of domestic wells are filled with detectable levels of turf chemicals. These astonishing facts are rarely noticed because they are below EPA levels. One must ask oneself how high must the percentage of contamination of our community and domestic wells be before the EPA takes steps toward a solution. Many people make the argument that farm chemicals are used out of necessity for high yields and low prices. At the same time, lawn and turf chemicals are used for the aesthetic values of pleasure. As you can see, society has raised many concerns over the use of chemicals and fertilizers and yet who to blame is undecided.

The creation of the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) is one attempt to find a solution for the problem that we are facing with chemicals. The global positioning system has been introduced over the past few years. The GPS does many things to help the farmer reduce...

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