Pesticides 101

What are pesticides?

A pesticide is a chemical used to prevent, destroy, or repel pests. Pests can be insects, mice and other animals, weeds, or microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and viruses (US Environmental Protection Agency). In a broader definition of pesticides, it includes biologics such as enzymes, bio-toxins and biological control agents also intended to kill pests.

Pesticides are more commonly used to synthetic chemicals used to kill insect pests, weeds and control plant diseases. However, safety to human consumption must be ensured. Hence, farmers must know and read labels of pesticides.

Did you know that there is a government agency regulating the distribution, use and application of pesticides? Did you know that there is a classification of pesticides according to toxicity?

The Fertilizers and Pesticides Authority (FPA) of the Philippines is the agency in-charge of regulating the sales and distribution of pesticides as well as its usage.

FPA classified the pesticides according to toxicity (LD50) and required all manufacturers, importers and distributors to follow the label requirements of the government. The toxicity levels are classified into color code:

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