Chapter

The Pesticide Question

pp 223-278

Environmental and Economic Impacts of Reducing U.S. Agricultural Pesticide Use

  • David PimentelAffiliated withDepartment of Entomology and Section of Ecology and Systematics, New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Cornell University
  • , Lori McLaughlinAffiliated withDepartment of Entomology, Cornell University
  • , Andrew ZeppAffiliated withDepartment of Natural Resources, Cornell University
  • , Benyamin LakitanAffiliated withDepartment of Vegetable Science, Cornell University
  • , Tamara KrausAffiliated withNew York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University
  • , Peter KleinmanAffiliated withDepartment of Natural Resources, Cornell University
  • , Fabius VanciniAffiliated withNew York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University
  • , W. John RoachAffiliated withCollege of Arts and Sciences, Cornell University
  • , Ellen GraapAffiliated withNew York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University
    • , William S. KeetonAffiliated withNew York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University
    • , Gabe SeligAffiliated withNew York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Several studies suggest that it is technologically feasible to reduce pesticide use in the United States 35—50% without reducing crop yields (PSAC, 1965; OTA, 1979; NAS, 1989; Palladino, 1989). Two recent events in Denmark and Sweden support these assessments. Denmark developed an action plan in 1985 to reduce the use of pesticides 50% before 1997 (Mogensen, 1989). Sweden also approved a program in 1988 to reduce pesticide use by 50% within 5 years (NBA, 1988). The Netherlands is developing a program to reduce pesticide use 50% in 10 years (Süddeutsche Zeitung, 1989). These proposals, along with Huffaker’s (1980) assessment that the United States overuses pesticides, prompted us to investigate the feasibility of reducing the annual use of synthetic organic pesticides by approximately one-half.