Chemical pesticides were developed in order to support crop growth, keeping away potentially harmful "pests" from our vital food supply. But we have known for a long time now that pesticides can also be quite harmful to people and animals that ingest them, either directly on food or through polluted water and soil sources. These chemicals are made to be toxic, and unfortunately it's impossible to pick and choose who they hurt. The extent of this possible harm has been hard to quantify. Until now.
A shocking new study just revealed that 64% of the entire world's farmland is at risk of pollution from pesticides.
Sign the petition asking the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to create a task force in charge of transitioning global agricultural practices away from pesticides!
Pesticides can have devastating effects on us humans. Short term, they can cause irritations like rashes, blisters, digestive issues, and can exacerbate existing conditions like asthma. Long term, pesticides have been linked to cancer, brain damage, reproductive issues including birth defects and infertility, and a whole host of other complications.
Our exposure to pesticides doesn't just come from the crops that are treated with the chemicals, either -- they are swept into water sources with runoff and leach into soil. Their harm echoes and ripples far beyond crops, into entire ecosystems and communities. Over one-third of the areas at risk for pesticide pollution are "high-biodiversity regions," meaning the areas richest with animal and plant life are some of the most likely to be poisoned. On top of that, almost one-fifth of these potentially poisoned areas are in lower-income nations that already struggle with food and water scarcity as well as crises of public health.
92 different chemicals used in pesticides across the world are threatening our soil, air, and water sources -- and pesticide use is only slated to increase, as global warming creates a perfect environment for rising insect populations. We have created a system of agriculture where we cannot sustainably grow the amount of food we need without poisoning the land and water we grow it with!
That's why we need world leaders to start developing more sustainable systems of agriculture that aren't completely and utterly dependent on chemical pesticides. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) literally wrote the International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management, which was last updated in 2013. Taking into account this new study, the FAO must develop a task force in charge of creating innovative, safe, and lasting solutions to what could quickly become a crisis of food scarcity, loss of biodiversity, and public health.
Sign the petition demanding that the FAO protect our food and our earth by developing a global strategy that reduces the use of pesticides in farming!