Psychology and Social Sciences
Environmental Decay Through Pesticides


Environmental Decay Through Pesticides


Sara Hillman



Sara Hillman, PSC 399: Research Skills in Political Science
Faculty Mentor: Professor Kyeonghi Baek, Political Science

Over the years, Americans have seen bans and reversal of bans on neonicotinoids chemicals throughout presidential administrations. Derived from the meaning “new nicotine-like insecticides,” the term “neonicotinoids” is a broad term for nero-active insecticides that have contributed to the rapid decline in pollinator populations such as butterflies, moths, and bees. While other countries have banned the use of neonicotinoid chemicals, the Environmental Protection Agency still tends to keep the pesticides on the market while only providing restrictions to their use. Additionally, in recent studies there has been an increase in farmers filing for bankruptcy. In 2019, the American Farm Bureau Federation reported a 24-percent increase from previous years. With a great majority of farmers using pesticides for agricultural reasons and advancement of agricultural techniques integrating pesticides into farming, there is a question if the poverty and bankruptcy of farmers contributes to the increase usage of neonicotinoid chemicals. This research investigates and analyzes the relationship between farmer poverty rates and bankruptcies to the production and usage of the neonicotinoid chemicals. By doing so, it would provide data for a recommendation policy that would help farmers find a safe and inexpensive alternative for pesticides.

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Environmental Decay Through Pesticides