Safer and environmentally friendlier pesticides and agricultural practices gain traction on U.S. farms

Originally published by: Stephen K. Ritter of Chemical & Engineering News

AD HOC efforts by an impressive array of federal and state agencies, farmer alliances, chemical companies, and nonprofit advocacy groups are dramatically shifting the way pesticides are made and used. As a result, pesticide use in the U.S. has dropped. Data from the Environmental Protection Agency show that conventional pesticide use, which includes agricultural and home and garden applications, peaked at 1.46 billion lb in 1979 and fell to 1.23 billion lb in 2001, the last year for which comprehensive data are available. Since then, pesticide use in the U.S. appears to have remained flat, according to limited government data and market research reports.

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