Envb3040 - Debate Paper

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My initial opinion prior to the debate is that in regards to what should be allowed to be used as pesticides, I believe that both synthetic and natural pesticides have its advantages and disadvantages. Natural pesticides that are found in certain plants have been specifically derived by that plant to protect itself from harmful pests. Although it may be effective in killing certain insects, it may not be as effective for other uses. For instance: a plant is found to secrete toxic chemicals in its nectar that target fire ants and the only way for the ant to be poisoned would be if it drank from the nectar, or bit into the plant itself. This toxin is contained inside the plant and has no exterior effects to surrounding animals. If a manufacturer extracted the pesticidal ingredients from the plant and turned it into a spray that people can use in their homes, how do we know what kind of effects it will have on the environment? Yes, the ingredients are all natural, but it was made specifically for the plant and it was fully contained in nature. The toxin could have acidic properties and enzymes that could deteriorate surrounding environments and kill other organisms, not just fire ants. Perhaps there is a reason why the toxin is found to be naturally isolated inside the plant. Although there have been negative opinions towards synthetic pesticides, sometimes man-made pesticides may actually be more beneficial to the environment than their natural counterparts. Scientists are able to manipulate and create different solutions that are directed more specifically to the insect. They can make pesticides that have short decomposition rates so that it does not linger in the environment for very long. They can also make pesticides that are more concentrated so that fewer applications are required to get the job done. “Synthetic” does not mean that it will automatically harm…...

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