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Pesticides commonly work for a good 5-6 years before the insects and pests develop immunity. Inversely, it can take a good 10 years be a new successful pesticide can be synthesized. Today's batches of pesticides were not in use in the 1940s or 1950s meaning we are still a bit unsure as to the long term effects of some of these chemicals on human populations. Oddly enough, many of the effective chemicals used in World War II warfare are the bases for modern pesticides. "Organophosphates" come from nerve gas, "phenoxy herbicides" was designed to clear food reserve farms in Japan (rice). The latter chemical is the most commonly used on Canadian fields and as an ingredient in Agent Orange. Agent Orange was used in Vietnam to clear vegetation that covered the Vietnamese with their natural camouflage.
[sources: 1; 2]

 

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