Pesticides: What are they?
Pesticides are chemicals that are used to destroy pests. In the agricultural industry, pesticides are classified into two categories, carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic. A carcinogenic pesticide is a substance or agent producing or inciting cancer. Conversely, a non-carcinogenic pesticide is substance that does not produce or incite cancer. Most agricultural pesticides were registered in the 1950s, with no standard regulations. The most considerable standard prior to the amendments of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) was, if a revocation of a pesticide occurred, would it have an impact on the prices or availability of food to the consumer? Today, the 208 pesticides used in the United States are regulated by the FFDCA. Bills such as, The Delaney Clause and The Food Quality Protection Act have modified and enforced pesticide regulations. Consumer concerns with the usage of pesticides in the agricultural industry, in regards to health factors, have overwhelmed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and demand they enforce pesticide regulations. With the assistance from other organizations such as the Senate Agriculture Committee (SAC), National Academy of Science (NAS), National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Consumers Union (CU), the EPA has made a notable progress. Throughout the years, consumers have pushed for research of the chemicals and substances that produce agricultural pesticides and what these pesticides do to our internal system. Congressman, James J. Delaney was also convinced that too many pesticide chemicals were found in foods. So in 1958, the House Select Committee investigated the use of chemicals in food products and amended section 409 of the FFDCA, in result creating The Delaney Clause.
The bill The Delaney Clause was implemented to avoid carcinogenic pesticides in the United States food supply. According to Congressional Reports, the intent of the bill was to reduce public exposure to a wide range of health effects, including nerve damage, reproductive failure, birth defects, and cancer due to hazardous pesticides. Although these health effects have not been proven in human life form, it has been proven that some pesticides are carcinogenic in lab animals. However, the bill overlooked many aspects of the agricultural industry and encompassed many loopholes. For instance, there were no requirements for the protection of infants and children. ...