Crop plants must compete with 30,000 species of weeds, 3,000 species of nematodes and 10,000 species of plant-eating insects. Despite the use of modern crop protection products, 20-40% of potential food production is still lost every year to pests. An adequate, reliable food supply cannot be guaranteed without the use of crop protection products.
Safeguarding Human Health
Many agricultural commodities are vulnerable to attack by aflatoxins and insect control is necessary to prevent its passage from insect to plant. Aflatoxin, a carcinogen, can cause liver and other cancers in humans, lower the body’s normal immune response, and can impair growth in children. Insecticides are used to control insect damage that leads to aflatoxin contamination.
For more information on how pesticides help to safeguard human health, see CropLife International's page on Public Health.