A pesticide is a chemical used to control:

The term pesticide is a broad one; it includes chemicals such as:

Pesticide use has increased dramatically since 1945, by 33-fold. They became so popular because synthetic pesticides promised farmers better:

The indirect costs of pesticide use, as well as consumer concerns, include:

However, in some instances, pesticides actually have improved the safety of the food supply. For example, fungicides help to prevent the formation of molds that may be harmful to consumers.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the manufacturing, labeling, and use of all pesticides. It sets “tolerances,” or the maximum level allowed, for pesticide residues. A residue is the amount of pesticide remaining on food.

To minimize exposure to pesticides, follow these guidelines:

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