It costs up to $256 million to research, develop, and register a new crop protection product; only 1 in 139,000 chemicals make it from the laboratory to the farmers’ fields.
Consumers expect high quality fruit and vegetables; this means produce free of insect blemishes and insect contamination. Before the introduction of insecticides, holes, scars, and surface tunnels made my insects feeding on crops could often be found in produce sold to consumers in addition to insect fragments in canned products. Before the introduction of insecticides, blueberries often contained maggots, aphids - also known as plant lice - could be found in canned spinach, and fruitworm in tomatoes. Insecticides reduce and, in some cases, eliminate, insect damage allowing the consumer to purchase blemish-free, high quality produce.