As billions of desert locusts swarm through East Africa and into Asia threatening the food supply of millions, environmental activists want to ban and regulate the only effective tools to stop it: pesticides.
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Activist campaigns to ban pesticides around the world mean the many effective products to combat the locust invasion are no longer available. In addition, increased regulations make development of new products less profitable and leave too few options for fighting locusts and other serious crop-damaging pests.
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Currently, aerial and ground-level spraying with organophosphates, particularly a product called fenitrothion, is the main, if not only, line of defense against the locusts. Yet Greenpeace and African environmental groups funded by the European Union are pressing for the elimination of this last line of defense.