This chapter highlights lessons learned from a hundred years of risk assessment from pesticides. As the scale of agriculture developed to industrial proportions, farmers increasingly relied on chemical inputs, specifically insecticides, to control crop damage as a result of insect infestations. The methods developed by E. M. K. Geiling and FDA scientists revealed the value of toxicology in characterizing risks of chemicals in the marketplace. Meanwhile, the book Silent Spring highlighted the tragic irony of legislation and pesticide use. While organophosphates posed a significant risk to humans and wildlife, most remained in the market until the EPA completed its comprehensive review in 2006. To this day, organophosphates are still among the most widely used pesticides in the world, with tragic consequences for farm workers, children, and wildlife populations.
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