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Case study

Paper Outline

Can today’s society do away with pesticides?

Ethical dilemmas faced by Sam in his decision- making process

Effects of the pesticide ban on the county


Pesticides are chemicals that are designed to prevent or manage the effects of pests such rodents, bacteria, insects, weeds and other pests. Most toxins that affect the environment are by-products from other process such as automobile engine emissions. However, pesticides, which can be harmful to the environment, are manufactured with the intention of using them in the environment. As a result, several debates have emerged on the benefits and effects of pesticides and whether we can as well manage pests without them. Furthermore, controversies have emerged on how much control the relevant agencies should have over the manufacture sale and use of pesticides. The recent negative effects of pesticides that have been witnessed, considering the fact that most of our farmers and households depend on the same pesticides, have fueled these debates (California Department of Pesticide Regulation, p. 1)
Can today’s society do away with pesticides?
Previous researches have proved that the American society is highly dependent on pesticides and a complete ban would result in serious problems compared to the environmental benefits that are sought by the ban. For instance, a study done by Knutson and others, which sought to find out the effects of a ban on insecticides, fungicides as well as herbicides, had the following findings. Such a measure would result in a drop in food production, and this would lead to an increase in food prices. These two conditions would make US farmers to be less competitive in the global market. The most affected produce would be major grains, peanuts and cotton. In addition, there would be a 27 percent drop in US exports of soybeans and corn drop. All these negative effects would be summed up by a loss of job for 132, 000 people (Delaplane, p. 3).
The findings of the research also challenged the notion that a ban on insecticides would help the environment. It explained that if pesticides were banned, then farmers would have to increase the number of acres that they firm, so that they would compensate the per-acre yield that will be lost. This will in turn result in a loss of wildlife habitat. With a pesticide ban, farmers would be forced to cultivate their farms more frequently to prevent widespread of weeds, which would in turn promote high erosion of soil. In addition, other countries that have lenient environmental laws world increase their pesticide use and produce more and capitalize on the reduced exports of the US (Delaplane, p. 3).
Another study was done which concentrated only the effects of a ban on fungicide. Considering that, fungicides are used to control fungicides, which is a plant disease that can kill crop plants as well as producing lethal food poisons. It therefore found out that such a ban in US would reduce vegetables by 21%, fruits by 32% and wheat by 6%. Worse still is the fact that consumption of such fruits and vegetables can help prevent some cancers as well as heart disease. Therefore, the society cannot afford top operate without pesticides as it serves major purposes that we cannot do without (Delaplane, p. 3).
Ethical dilemmas faced by Sam in his decision- making process
            One of the ethical issues that face Mr. Sam is whether to protect the lives that can be lost through the harmful effects of the pesticides or to protect the jobs that will be lost by the ban. A case in point is Mr. Smith who was mourning his wife who succumbed to cancer. By supporting a ban, some lives that are at risk such children in school will be protected. This is because the use of pesticides in schools and anywhere else that they children can access will be banned. On the other hand, here are people who work in firms that manufacture these pesticides. There are also other people who are employed to apply these pesticides. With the implementation of such a ban, these people risk losing their jobs (Office of the Governor M. Jodi REll, p. 1-2).
Secondly, Sam is torn between protecting the environment and protecting farmers. Farmers use the pesticides to control pests. This ensures that they get high and healthy produce. However, a ban on pesticides will mean that their produce will be reduced and their quality will be affected. On the other hand, environmental activists would support the ban. This is because, the use of pesticides is believed to cause harm to he environment. For instance, the pesticides used might be washed downstream and this leads to pollution of water. Therefore, banning the pesticides would help prevent water pollution. As a result, of the two opposing sides, Sam is in a dilemma, because by supporting one he will be voting against the other (Parendes & Burris para. 7-8)
Effects of the pesticide ban on the county
Economic effects
Implementation of a complete ban would result in an economic drain on the county. Without the help of pesticides, maintenance and care of facilities would be a great task. For instance, facilities will be exposed to termites, hence they will be destroyed easily and new ones will have to be acquired. Complete ban on pesticides might result in pest outbreaks. These can destroy crops and cost farmers a lot of money. Some of the agricultural plants at risk include flowering plants such as mums, which are the biggest crop in the county, apple orchards, which are sprayed to control pests, will also suffer. Being that the apples are the treasure of the county, it will be forced to purchase from other regions because its supply will be too low to feed its members (Parendes & Burris para. 4-6)
Socially the ban would reduce health problems associated with pesticides. As explained by Josh Martin’s NRCS pesticide report, which pointed that government records proved that pesticides use resulted in many health problems in the county. Therefore, banning them would reduce their effect and that means that peoples’ health in the county would be improved. Politically, the ban would attract legal action against the county officials for passing a law that harms the economy of the constituents. If the county passes the law without following the standards that have been put like the Quebec in Canada, then it risks being sued by the aggrieved parties (Babbage, 11-13).
I would vote no to allow continued usage of pesticides. My vote influenced by the many benefits that are derived from the usage of pesticides compared to the harm that it brings. Most farmers rely on pesticides to control pests and have quality and healthy produce. In case of a ban, the alternative is very expensive for both the farmers and the county. In addition, some of the harms attributed to the use of pesticides have been magnified hence they do not show heir true state. For instance, research has show that the environmental harm attributed to the use of pesticides cannot be compare to the negative effects that are experienced if pesticides are not used.

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