ants Many insects are pests. They eat many of the food plants farmers grow and, not surprisingly, farmers try many tricks to stop the insects. Pesticides are the latest human invention for killing pest insects (the '-icide' bit of 'pesticide' means 'killer'). Pesticides are poisonous chemicals which farmers spray on their crops. The poison kills the insects.death to all insects End of problem. Well not quite. The pesticides don't just disappear. They stick around and poison many other creatures (including humans - over 200,000 people are thought to die every year because of pesticide poisonings). deadly poisonsUntold numbers of innocent animals die too, but no-one bothers about them. Pesticides also pollute water supplies and plants that have been sprayed with them often contain small amounts when people eat them. People who support genetic engineering (GE) claim that if farmers use GE plants which make their own pesticides, then farmers will need to spray less pesticide which will be better for everyone.

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