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As a matter of fact, food crops have to compete with 30,000 species of weeds, 3,000 species of worms and 10,000 species of plant-eating insects. And threats don’t stop once crops leave fields – bugs, molds and rodents can all cause damage in storage. Insecticides can prolong the life of crops and prevent post-harvest losses. That's why all farmers including organic farmers, use Insecticides.

Whether from synthetic or natural sources, Insecticides are used by all farmers. The difference is, organic farmers use Insecticides from natural sources. But both synthetic as well as natural Insecticides have various levels of toxicity.
Insecticides are important. They help farmers grow more food on less land by protecting crops from pests, diseases and weeds as well as raising productivity per hectare. Combined production of major crops, around the world, has more than tripled since 1960, by the virtues of agrochemicals. For example, rice – which feeds almost half the people on our planet – has more than doubled in production. The amount of wheat has increased nearly 160 percent. Without Insecticides, more than half of our crops would be lost to pests and diseases. Between 26 and 40 percent of the world’s potential crop production is lost annually because of weeds, pests and diseases. Without protection, these losses could easily double.

Protect crops from insect pests, weeds and fungal diseases while they are growing
Prevent rats, mice, flies and other insects from contaminating foods whilst they are being stored
Safeguard human health, by stopping food crops being contaminated by fungi
Currently, about 925 million people around the world – one in seven of us – are going hungry. To reduce hunger, we need to increase food productivity. Insecticides help farmers do that.

Insecticides enable farmers to produce safe, quality foods at affordable prices. They also help farmers provide an abundance of nutritious, all-year-round foods, which are necessary for human health. Fruits and vegetables, which provide essential nutrients, are more abundant and affordable. Grains, milk and proteins, which are vital to childhood development, are more widely available because of lower costs to produce food and animal feed.

Crop quantity and quality rely on crop protection. For example, a U.S. study estimated that without fungicides, yields of most fruit and vegetables would fall by 50-90 percent. Moreover, Insecticides decrease exposure to food contaminated with harmful micro-organisms and naturally occurring toxins, preventing food-related illnesses.
Agrochemicals are one of the most tested and regulated products in the world. In fact, every product in this category enters the market after several years of scientific research and testing. For example, more tests are required for Insecticides than for pharmaceuticals. Every manufacturer must follow has to follow stringent product development criteria, whereby an average of 160,000 chemical molecules are analyzed and those with potential negative effects are screened out from the very beginning.

Extensive Testing Norms

Based on internationally accepted regulatory guidelines, the chemicals passes through a sufficiently strong testing process to support regulatory risk assessment. Once approved, these products require re-registrations about every 10 years. Products are only approved by authorities and placed on the market if thorough testing and evaluation shows they do not pose unacceptable risks.

Insecticides are tested extensively to ensure their safety for people, wildlife and the environment. Tests are undertaken to evaluate a range of potential adverse effects on both humans and the environment. They take into account the potential for sensitive windows of exposure (e.g., pregnancy and puberty) and vulnerable populations (pregnant or nursing women, the very young or very old), ensuring high margins of safety. The weight of scientific evidence shows that Insecticides are not associated with human diseases.
Insecticides are continuously improving thanks to scientific innovation. New Insecticides are more environmentally friendly than their decades-old predecessors. They do not persist in the environment or bio-accumulate in the human body or wildlife. In fact, most Insecticides today are less toxic than table salt or vinegar.

World over, the scientists are constantly developing new products and re-evaluating old products based on safety and efficacy. New products are rigorously evaluated to ensure they do not pose unacceptable risk to human health or the environment. Older products that had high risk with normal use, which could not be mitigated, have been voluntarily restricted or withdrawn from the marketplace.
Both organic and conventional foods are inspected by government authorities to avoid health risks. Regulators have set very strict limits on pesticide residues. Consumers are protected by existing government legislation pertaining to maximum allowable residue levels on foods.

Any pesticide residues that may be on supermarket foods are well within safety limits and therefore, do not pose a health risk. Due to huge safety margins, these residues do not pose a risk to human health, even if the legal limit for residues is exceeded. Nor are consumers at risk with potential exposure to multiple residues in food.

Insecticides are only approved for use if their potential residue levels are deemed safe for all consumers. Safety limits are set by authorities for each pesticide based on the amount of potential residue that can be consumed in a lifetime without posing any risk to health.
For consumers, it is a general instruction that washing fresh fruits and vegetables reduces pesticide residues. Studies show that some or most pesticide residues, if present, can be removed by washing produce under clean, running water.

Whether organically or conventionally produced, it is a good idea to wash all fruits and vegetables as pesticide residues can come from synthetic or natural sources as well. Scientific evidence shows that organic food is no safer or healthier than conventional food.

For the farmers, industry stresses on following the label instructions and good agricultural practices for responsible use of Insecticides. They have protect themselves and their farm from adverse effects. This includes wearing protective clothing, applying and storing products carefully and following label instructions.

Does the agrochemical industry follow a Product Packaging norm

Pesticide companies are continuously improving pesticide packaging for safety and efficacy. The crop protection industry puts in place safety measures to prevent accidental or intentional misuse, such as safety seals and vomit-inducing ingredients

Liquid formulas may be switched to gels or microcapsules that don’t dissolve in water to prevent spillage. Prominent warnings on labels along with suitably-sized and easy-to-handle containers discourage decanting products into unlabeled, inappropriate containers. Coloring or adding a strong smell to products to avoid mistaken identity, child-resistant caps and built-in measuring devices also help protect farmers and their families.

The crop protection industry cannot take responsibility for intentional misuse of products; however, it lessens the chance of accidents with risk mitigation measures. For example, products may be restricted in use per application or geography and/or only be sold to professional applicators.
The plant science industry encourages farmers to use Insecticides with care, only when needed and only as much as needed. Label recommendations help ensure that these products are applied appropriately and only when necessary.

Insecticide companies work hard to train and educate farmers. The health and safety of consumers and pesticide handlers is the industry’s highest priority, demonstrated through rigorous product testing, farmer training programs and sound management practices. For example, IIL, one of the companies promoting this site has trained about one million farmers of India so far.

In fact, the whole crop protection industry endorses the International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management, which has standards for the distribution and use of Insecticides.