Pesticides are one of the most common forms of pest control in America. But they can cause serious damage to humans and other non-targeted species.  In America, the use of pesticides is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but the system is not perfect. Most Americans are exposed to pesticides through food, often non-organic fruits and vegetables. Foods with thin, porous skins, like strawberries and apples, are likely to have higher pesticide content. Imported fruits and vegetables may have particularly high pesticide content, as they may be produced in nations where pesticide regulation isn’t as strong.

Cry Wolf Quotes

Are we stripping our [pesticide] arsenal of essential weapons? If we strip that arsenal, something is bound to happen. I can’t predict what insect, what disease vector, might attack the food supply or health of this country….The consequences of such a situation may go far beyond a mere food shortage….The position of our State Department could be impaired….Our military potential could be seriously affected.

R.E. Naegele, manager of Dow Chemical’s agricultural department, Testimony, House Committee on Agriculture.

I was more scared than angry or frustrated. I've felt like a lot of this stuff coming down from the EPA isn't really well thought out -- they're off in the clouds.

Doug Crow, a Washington apple grower, The Oregonian.

If you people ban the use of endrin [see below] until we know a lot more about it then we do now, many orchards will simply go out of production.

Rep. George Goodling (R-PA). House Committee on Agriculture hearings.

Present regulations have been effective in protecting human health and our food supply….We do not have a pesticide environmental crisis at this time.

D. Lyle Goleman, Chairman of the Entomology Department at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. House Committee on Agriculture.

Backgrounders & Briefs

Good Rules: Ten Stories Of Successful Regulation

Demos looks at ten laws and rules that we take for granted.


Beyond Pesticides focuses on protecting public health and the environment to lead the transition to a world free of toxic pesticides.

Pesticide Action Network fights against the use of hazardous pesticides while promoting environmentally sustainable and socially just alternatives.