- agriculture - animals - Chemicals - environment - Japan - research - science - South Africa
Pesticides: used and abused
Since the 1950s the use of pesticides has increased fifty-fold. While these pest-killing chemicals have helped produce better quality crops and larger yields, they’ve also been associated with a wide range of undesirable side-effects.
This week we start in France where scientists have found another reason to be cautious: the latest buzz in bee research shows that some of the most commonly used chemicals are killing our precious bee populations.
Pesticides are now heavily regulated across Europe. In the last few years the European Union has banned more than twenty chemicals because of serious health risks. But in South Africa these very same pesticides are still being used on a large scale. We head to Cape Town to explore South Africa’s open-door pesticide policy.
Finally, we make a stop in Japan where farmers are rediscovering an ancient rice-growing technique that boosts production without the need for chemicals. Here, ducks are being hailed for their role as nature’s natural pesticide.