In business today, there are many goals; however, the most prominent goal of any
business has been and always will be to make money. Companies are always looking for
ways to stay profitable, even when the consequences of such actions are not yet known to
consumers, or to the executive boards of these companies. One example of companies
trying to achieve maximum profitability is the use of pesticides in the agricultural market.
Before examining the reasons that companies would use pesticides, it is important
to define what a pesticide is. By definition, a pesticide is, “any agent that is used to
control or kill undesired insects, diseases, weeds, rodents, mold and other organisms,
such as bacteria. Falling under the term “pesticide” are herbicides, insecticides,
fungicides, rodenticides and disinfectants (Food Marketing Institute 1). So, it can be
gathered that these pesticides (which are designed to kill organisms of all kinds, whether
it be plants, insects, or small animals) are being administered to crops that are consumed
regularly by the human population.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, thousands of pesticide
products are currently registered in the United States, which contain 865 active
ingredients. Of these 865 active ingredients, 350 of these ingredients have been approved
by the EPA for use on food crops; however, ninety-eight percent of the pesticides that are
used contain 200 of these active ingredients. These pesticides are applied to the crops
either by injecting them into the soil the crops will be grown in, or by direct application
to the crops as a spray, fog, or dust (Food Marketing Institute 1).
It is a fact that crops can be vulnerable to up to 8,000 different types of fungi,
10,000 species of insect, 1,800 varieties of weeds, 160 strains of bacteria, and 250 viruses
(Food Marketing Institute 1).
These “pests” are responsible for the destruction of thirty