February 13, 2013
Leonard P. Gianessi, CropLife Foundation
In the United States and Europe, widespread pesticide use began over 100 years ago as a result of consumer demands for insect-free fruit and vegetables. Today, consumers all around the world have similar expectations: produce free of pest damage. As a result, most of the world’s fruit and vegetables are treated with insecticides and fungicides. Pesticides are widely used in growing export crops in the Tropics. Production of coffee, bananas, cocoa, mangoes, and tea would decline significantly without regular use of insecticides and fungicides to prevent losses to insects and diseases. Hazelnuts from Turkey and kiwi from New Zealand are just two examples of crops for which export markets are dependent on the regular use of pesticides for production.