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1. Discusses the problems associated with chemicals and their risk to human health. Your team is part of the United Nations that addresses agricultural issues. A developing country has just had a massive outbreak of insect pests that are destroying their crops. What advice will you give them concerning the use of pesticides? Do you advise them to use them or not to use them?

2. What are the risks of using pesticides?

3. What are the benefits to using pesticides?

4. Are there any alternatives to using chemical pesticides?

5. Develop a plan of action for this country? What are your final recommendations for this country on pesticide use?

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1. As part of the UN team that addresses agricultural issues, I will advise that particular developing country to avoid using pesticides because the risks that could be derived from pesticide use far outweigh potential benefits. Moreover, target organisms could develop resistance to pesticides. In an agricultural field, the most common target organisms are the herbivores that feed directly on the crops. However, aside from the herbivores, other organisms in the higher trophic levels are negatively affected as well. In fact, the carnivores which occupy the higher levels in the food web will be reduced faster. Natural enemies (which are the carnivores) keep in check the population of the herbivores from increasing. After pesticide application, more of the herbivores compared with their natural enemies are left. Thus, the herbivore populations are the first ones to recover. They multiply rapidly since there will be none or there are only few organisms to check their population. Thus, pest resurgence occurs. Moreover, pesticide application negatively affects the integrity of ecosystems. Non-biodegradable pesticides can lead to bioaccumulation or biomagnification, which is a phenomenon whereby the concentration of certain chemicals that are soluble in body fats feeding at higher levels at the food web are drastically higher ...

Solution Summary

The risks and benefits of pesticide use are explored, as well as a plan of action for a country using them provided.